The Farm Bill is Headed to Conference, Where Members of Congress Will Work to Combine the House and Senate Versions of the Bills

July 9th, 2018

With Two Very Different Bills Hitting the Editing Desk, Congress Needs Your Continuing Input

Call Your Representatives in Congress:
(202) 224-3121
Image source: RawPixel

After the Independence Day recess, the two farm bill drafts produced and passed in the House and Senate have gone to a conference committee. A conference committee, appointed by leadership, is a smaller group of Senators and Representatives charged with combining two separate bills into one. The House and Senate will each vote on the legislation that comes out of the committee.

It is important that members of the public continue to call their Senators and Representatives as the 2018 Farm Bill is debated in conference and eventually up to vote again. Supportive programs, mostly in the Senate version, for small organic farms, organic research programs, fraudulent organic imports tracking, and conservation programs could be on the chopping block as the conference tries to reach a compromise. Reciprocally, very damaging language in the House version that would undermine the authority of the National Organic Standards Board will be considered.

Members of the public have a chance to make a difference by staying on top of these issues and communicating their needs to their Congresspersons. The future of our agricultural system and particularly the administration of the organic label depends on support from the Farm Bill.

Keep the pressure on Representatives and Senators!

Call or email your Member(s) of Congress and tell them to support Farm Bill language that protects small farms and the integrity of the organic label. Click here to find your House and Senate Representatives.

Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Representative and/or Senator.

Talking points:

  • I support the improved tracking documentation, and other controls, for organic imports. This is an important step to protect American farms from the economic harm caused by fraudulent organic imports.
  • I oppose undermining a strong National Organic Standards Board. Clear administration of the National List is imperative to maintain a strong organic market and to prevent fraud.
  • I oppose undermining National List where materials are listed for a 5-year “term” and then automatically removed unless they receive a decisive 2/3 vote from the NOSB.
  • I support conservation programs that help farms protect biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land to benefit society as a whole.
  • I support increased funding organic research.

Read more on this issue at https://www.cornucopia.org/2018/06/tell-your-representatives-and-senators-to-back-a-farm-bill-that-supports-small-farms-and-a-strong-organic-label/

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