Action Alert: Final Stages of 2018 Farm Bill

Congress is in the final stretch of completing the 2018 Farm Bill but they may not get the job done! Your legislators need to hear from YOU on organic programs. Call your legislator & ask them to help finish this farm bill! YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

TARGETS: Your legislators


WHY:  Congress must send a farm bill to the President for signature before the current farm bill expires on September 30, 2018.  We are asking them to preserve funding for important organic programs and encouraging them to not make any changes to the National Organic Standards Board.  Congress may not finish the farm bill in time—they need to hear from you!


Call your elected officials to pass a farm bill before the current bill expires.  Ask to protect funding for organic programs and leave NOSB changes out of this farm bill.

Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Please email: with an update of how the call went.


  • Ask for the Agriculture Legislative Assistant (LA).
  • Tell your Senator or House of Representative’s office that you are an organic farmer.  Tell them the town where your farm is located and describe your farm business.
  • Urge them to pass a farm bill before the current farm bill expires and oppose any attempts to change the National Organic Standard Board in the Farm Bill.
  • Congress needs to complete their conference committee work before the end of September—organic farmers are counting on Congress to plow to the end of the row and get the job done.
  • If they pass an extension of current programs, they create funding problems for many of the organic programs you use on your farm like cost-share, organic research, data collection and needed National Organic Program upgrades.
  • The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) plays an important role in supporting the organic seal.  NOSB determines which materials can be used in organic farming and is the heart of the transparent process that upholds the integrity of organic seal.  It must be protected—NO CHANGES are needed.
  • Invite them to visit your farm.

(See below for more detailed background and talking points if interested.)




Farm Bill Conferees met last week to start the negotiating process of ironing out the difference between the House and Senate farm policy proposals. Current farm policy expires the September 30, 2018.

Congress needs to send a farm bill to the President for signature by September 30 to preserve baseline funding for many organic programs. If Congress misses the deadline and only passes an extension of current farm programs, many important programs across 10 of the 12 farm bill titles lapses. Of particular importance to the organic industry are cost-share, organic research, data collection and National Organic Program upgrades.

These lapsed programs have been nicknamed “orphan programs”.  There are 39 programs that do not have a continuing baseline after September 30,2018 and cost $2.824 billion over the 5-year farm bill. If Congress extends the current farm bill, we lose our “baseline” or future funding commitment.

Almost every farm group in DC has been encouraging Congress to complete their work before the farm bill expires.  We need to keep the pressure on Congress.

Both the Senate and House farm bills would change the structure and authority of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).  The hydroponics industry has been working with Senate Agriculture Committee to change how NOSB operates. We do NOT need changes to NOSB, it is working well.

The NOSB is at the heart of the transparent process that upholds the integrity of the organic seal. Organic Farmers Association supports organic production that is soil-based.  We believe that the organic process should remain transparent and that farmers should have an authentic representation and role in the process.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is made up of 15 dedicated public volunteers from across the organic community. The Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture on a wide variety of topics related to organic standards, including what materials should be allowed in organic farming.

Organic standards must remain strong to ensure trust in the label and to create a level playing field for the vast majority of organic farms and businesses that are playing by the rules.

Organic farming improves farmers’ incomes and boosts rural economies.