The Top Issues Impacting Organic Policy in 2021

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The Cornucopia Institute is focused on community resilience; access to clean, nutrient-dense food; and supporting the farmers who produce organic food and contribute to the health of the planet. But there’s no rulebook for the common good. Corporations consistently erode the boundaries of organic regulations, hurting authentic organic farmers who have suffered the consequences of… Read more »

Court Defers to USDA: Soil Is Optional in Organic

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On March 19 a California court delivered a gut punch to the USDA organic label, betraying the trust of consumers and demoralizing authentic organic farmers. The ruling announced by the Northern California federal district court allows soilless produce operations to remain certified organic under the law. The lawsuit filed last year by the Center for… Read more »

A Legacy of Stewardship 

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Preserving Gullah farming traditions and food culture in South Carolina  Story and photo by LeeAnn Chisolm Morrissette  [This article was previously published in the spring issue of  the Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]  I met Sara’ Reynolds Green, lovingly referred to as “Mama Sara’,” and her husband Bill when I was commissioned to interview them for The Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network… Read more »

Soil Matters: Below the Surface of Authentic Organic

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[This article was previously published in the spring issue of  the Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter. Donate today to protect organic integrity and receive our summer issue in print.] The Cornucopia Institute is adamant that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) enforce the required management of the living soil. Authentic organic farmers are systems thinkers who… Read more »

The Cultivator – Spring 2021

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The Spring 2021 Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter, is now available online. Download the PDF. In it you’ll find: Cornucopia’s New Executive Director is Building Bridges Organic Policy Watch The True Cost of Industrial Beef Kalamazoo People’s Food Coop is Nourishing Community A Legacy of Stewardship in South Carolina Soil Matters

What Unfolding Policy Means for Happy Calves On Authentic Organic Farms

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A new rule is coming. And it’s desperately needed to ensure that healthy calves from organic cows grow up eating grass alongside their relatives. That scenario is commonplace among Cornucopia’s five-cow-rated dairies. But in industrialized organic dairies, scofflaws have long flouted existing  “origin of livestock” rules, continuously transitioning conventional animals into production despite the fact that the organic… Read more »

There Is No Normal Anymore

North Dakota seed breeders safeguard the future of food By Marianne Landzettel  Theresa Podoll breathed a cautious sigh of relief. The harvest on her North Dakota farm had gone well and, at the time of our conversation in early October, snow was absent from the forecast for the rest of the month.  “In 2018 and 2019, we had snow on the ground… Read more »

Melody Morrell Named Executive Director of The Cornucopia Institute

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Ushering in a New Leadership Era With a Fierce Protector of Organic Viroqua, WI –  Following many months of teamwork to navigate a founder transition, the board of The Cornucopia Institute voted unanimously to promote longtime staff member Melody Morrell as the organization’s next executive director. “Melody Morrell has served as the backbone of Cornucopia… Read more »

More of the Same? Vilsack to Return to USDA

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Here’s a quixotic scenario: a secretary of agriculture who is cozy with farmers, not corporations. Instead, we are preparing for the return of Tom Vilsack, who served as secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration between 2008 and 2016. Most recently, Vilsack worked in the private sector, as president and CEO of the US Dairy… Read more »