House Ag Committee Releases First Farm Bill Draft

Last week the House Agriculture Committee released their first draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. Agriculture policy wonks across the country are reviewing the text and preparing for next steps. 
CCOF is pleased to see most of its top priorities included in the House draft:
Increased funding authorized for the National Organic Program (NOP), accompanied by language that directs USDA to modernize NOP’s international trade tracking and data collection systems
Continued funding at $5 million for the Organic Production and Marketing Initiative
Increased funding from $20 million to $30 million annually for the Organic Research and Extension Initiative, USDA’s flagship organic research program. 
However, the bill does not include funding for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Cost share reimburses certified organic operations 75 percent of their certification-related expenses per scope, up to a maximum of $750 per scope. The program is important for all organic producers, particularly small and beginning farmers. CCOF will continue to advocate for cost share. 
The bill includes other provisions that will impact certified organic farmers and ranchers. CCOF’s policy team will continue to analyze the bill and participate in the legislative process until it is finalized. For questions, please contact the CCOF Policy Department.