2018 Organic Farm Bill Priorities

 National Organic Program (NOP) Enforcement to Ensure Organic Integrity 
Organic integrity is the bedrock of the organic label.  We must have equitable and honest enforcement of the National Organic Standards across all commodities, states, farm sizes, and throughout international trade.


  • Organic Farmers Association (OFA) SUPPORTS the full and equitable enforcement of National Organic Program standardsUSDA should take immediate action to bring non-complying operations and their organic certifying agents into compliance or else exclude them from the program. Congress should use its oversight authority to ensure that USDA takes the necessary actions to tighten enforcement.
  • OFA SUPPORTS the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3871), which includes new Farm Bill requirements for USDA, in coordination with Customs and Border Protection, to implement enhanced procedures to track organic imports and ensure that imported products fully comply with U.S. organic standards.
  • OFA SUPPORTS a consistent interpretation and implementation of the pasture rule for all organic dairies.

Expanding Organic Research

Research on organic agriculture, including soil health and alternative pest- and disease-management strategies, benefits both organic and conventional farmers. Therefore, funding for such research is essential. Unfortunately, over the past five years, while overall funding for agricultural research has grown significantly, funding for organic research has stagnated.

The bipartisan Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436/S.2404) would authorize $50 million in mandatory funding annually for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).

  • OFA SUPPORTS passage of the Organic Agriculture Research Act.

Organic Certification Cost Share

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA) provide organic farmers with modest reimbursements for a portion of their annual organic certification fees.

  • OFA SUPPORTS renewal of organic certification cost-share programs with adequate mandatory funding to meet projected demand. OFA encourages Congress to recognize how this program helps small and beginning farmers access certified organic markets.

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)

  • OFA STRONGLY OPPOSES any efforts that seek to dilute the authority and role of the NOSB in the overall standard-setting process, and opposes statutory changes to the delicate balance of stakeholder slot allocations for the Board membership.



$12 million, the FY18 funding level, to support Agriculture, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS), and the National Organic Program including for fraud detection.

The Organic Farmers Association (OFA) is asking the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee to remind USDA of the value of the organic seal. The top priority of OFA members is protect the integrity of USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program’s (NOP) organic seal.

NOP is responsible for ensuring that their accredited international and domestic certifiers and inspectors are enforcing the rules and regulations that uphold the high standards of organic integrity. OFA encourages Congress to remind NOP that the value of the organic label depends on consumer trust—trust that the program is enforcing its standards equally and consistently among all producers. Family farmers across rural America depend on the ability to diversify their markets. For many, organic market prices support their farm businesses. Meanwhile, consumers are demanding more product and continue to show that they are willing to pay for food and fiber grown to NOP standards.

Many American farmers are eager to transition acres to organic as current demand for organic products outpaces domestic production. Presently, 40 percent of organic corn and 70 percent of organic soybeans are imported to meet the growing demand. And yet, recently the UDSA has turned away shiploads of this imported grain because it has been fraudulently claimed organic. American farmers deserve an equal playing field and to function in an honest free market where increased domestic demand calls for higher prices due to limited supply. This would encourage more farmers to increase production to meet the demand locally. We encourage the Subcommittee to support NOP funding so the NOP can do its job of enforcement and create financial opportunities for American farmers first—making rural America a priority.