The Farm Bill
The farm bill is a multi-year federal bill that defines United States food and farming policy. The farm bill funds the National Organic Program, organic certification cost share, conservation programs, and other programs important to organic producers.
The farm bill is divided into two parts: farm titles and the nutrition title. The nutrition title, which sets policy and funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps), receives 80% of farm bill funds.
The remainder is divided between 11 farm titles, ranging from commodities to crop insurance. These titles set the rules and funding for price and income support for commodity production, conservation programs including EQIP, rural development, research, forestry, energy, and more.
Organic farmers in the past have not received many benefits from farm bill programs because of the farm bill’s historic focus on commodity crops rather than the specialty crops that are the bread and butter of organic, but as organic continues to grow and more attention is paid to vegetables, fruits, and nuts, so does organic representation in farm bills.
Read article The Farm Bill: What’s In It For Organic? from CCOF’s magazine Certified Organic.
If you want to get involved in advocating for organic farmers and consumers, please contact CCOF’s policy department at email@example.com.
CCOF’s 2023 Farm Bill Priorities
- Advance organic agriculture in federal climate change policy
The farm bill should acknowledge organic agriculture as climate smart.
- Expand and streamline organic certification cost share
The farm bill should increase funding and streamline administration of the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Congress should increase and make permanent funding of $52 million/year for the cost share program and establish reimbursement payments of $1,500 flat rate per scope.
- Provide farmers and ranchers tools to transition to organic
The farm bill should complement the new USDA Organic Transition Initiative by expanding organic technical assistance and removing barriers for organic producers to participate in state and federal procurement programs, crop insurance, and conservation programs.
- Continue to strengthen organic oversight and enforcement
In an increasingly global marketplace with growing demand for organic products, the National Organic Program (NOP) will need enough funds to oversee the entire organic marketplace. The 2023 Farm Bill should increase funding for the NOP by 10 percent year over year.
- Expand market opportunities for organic ranchers
The farm bill should establish a permanent USDA program to support infrastructure and training for small meat processors to extend the benefits of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Initiatives.
For more details, read our full list of 2023 Farm Bill Priorities