As the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives drafts language for the next Farm Bill, it is considering sweeping cuts to programs that support organic agriculture. One dire threat is significantly reducing, and possibly eliminating, the cost-share program for certified organic growers and processors.
MOFGA certified organic producers benefit greatly from this program, with over 90% of producers participating annually. Our partners working in DC report that time is of the essence to defend this benefit to organic agriculture. It is absolutely critical that our community raises its collective voice in support of the organic cost-share program.
Please contact our congressional delegation today!
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Angus King
Representative Chellie Pingree
Representative Bruce Poliquin
Suggestions for making effective calls:
It’s best to use your own words and experience, but here are some things to think about beforehand.
- Ask to speak with the staffer who works on agriculture.
- Tell the staffer that you are calling as a constituent and an organic farmer/processor.
- Express appreciation for the senator’s/representative’s leadership in growing and protecting organic agriculture.
- Ask them to voice strong support for organic certification cost-share in the next Farm Bill.
- Tell them that Congress should reauthorize, with adequate funding, organic certification cost share because the program helps organic farmers stay in business and keep jobs here in our local economy.
- Explain how organic certification cost-share is important to your farming operation and to organic farms and processors around Maine.
- Explain that going through the annual certification process is challenging for many reasons and the cost of annual certification is expensive.
- Emphasize how your farm is protecting natural resources and, by getting certified each year, you are demonstrating compliance with the beneficial conservation practices required by national organic regulations.
- Point out that organic agriculture is a bright spot in our economy. These are jobs that can and should be created here at home. Rather than relying on imports, certified organic farmers in our communities should be supported in their efforts to meet that demand.