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OFRF Coverage Work – 2021 Yr in Evaluate


By Trevor Findley, OFRF Senior Coverage Affiliate

The Natural Farming Analysis Basis (OFRF) had a busy yr advocating for insurance policies that profit natural farmers. The next are excerpts from a number of coverage articles that spotlight the breadth of points that OFRF labored on this yr. They display the progress we’ve made, the relationships we’ve established, and ongoing work advancing OFRF’s mission to foster the development and widespread adoption of natural farming programs.Panetta Moffitt Press Briefing

1.  OFRF Attends USDA Briefing with Below Secretary Moffitt and Rep. Panetta

In October, OFRF attended a USDA press briefing with USDA Below Secretary for Advertising and Regulatory Applications Jenny Lester Moffitt and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20). The occasion mentioned two federal pandemic help packages, the USDA’s Pandemic Response and Security Grant and the Farm and Meals Employee Reduction Grant, which complete over $1 billion for affected employees and companies.

2.  OFRF Asks Congress to Improve Funding for Natural Analysis

All through Congressional finances reconciliation discussions, the OFRF coverage workforce has labored with each the Home and Senate to advocate for extra federally funded natural agriculture analysis. At present, the Home-passed model of the invoice is unlikely to maneuver ahead within the Senate, however President Biden has dedicated to persevering with his efforts to go a invoice within the new yr. As Congress continues its discussions, OFRF will proceed to work with members of the Home and Senate to assist a rise in funding for the Natural Agriculture Analysis and Extension Initiative (OREI) and different agricultural analysis investments. OREI funds analysis, schooling, and extension packages that assist natural producers and processors to develop and market natural merchandise.

3.  OFRF Meets with Below Secretary Lester Moffitt to Ask USDA to Prioritize Help for Producers Transitioning to Natural

In August, OFRF and its advisors met with natural farmer and the then newly-confirmed USDA Below Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt and Senior Advisor Mike Schimdt to debate the division’s plans to assist producers transition to natural manufacturing. USDA Secretary Vilsack has beforehand introduced that the division will spend a pair hundred million {dollars} to assist farmers and ranchers transition to natural. Given OFRF’s analysis focus and in-depth evaluation within the Nationwide Natural Analysis Agenda, OFRF was well-equipped to supply the division with the next suggestions that may assist producers transition to natural farming:

4. OFRF Excursions USDA Agricultural Analysis Service, Rep. Jimmy Panetta to Co-Sponsor ARA

August 19 ARS Tour in SalinasAdditionally in August, OFRF hosted Consultant Jimmy Panetta’s (CA-20) congressional staffers on the USDA Agricultural Analysis Service (ARS) in Salinas, Calif. The positioning go to centered on the significance of elevated funding in natural analysis and was instrumental in Rep. Panetta’s determination to co-sponsor the Agricultural Resilience Act (ARA).

OFRF organized the tour of the natural fields on the ARS led by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA Analysis Horticulturist and the ARS’ solely devoted natural researcher within the nation. California natural farmers in attendance shared their firsthand expertise in making use of natural analysis to their farming practices, together with composting and canopy cropping. Attendees emphasised the significance of investing extra analysis {dollars} to natural farming practices on the Salinas facility and different ARS places.

Rep. Panetta’s determination to co-sponsor the ARA was knowledgeable by his cautious assessment of the invoice textual content in addition to the work and schooling offered by OFRF.

5.  OFRF Employees Participates in Digital Fly-In to Ask Congress to Bolster Natural

In July, OFRF participated within the Natural Commerce Affiliation’s (OTA) digital fly-in, the place natural supporters requested members of Congress to assist a invoice to extend accountability in natural requirements.

The invoice proposed by OTA, HR 2918 – Steady Enchancment and Accountability in Natural Requirements Act, would require USDA to do three issues: (1) clear the backlog of suggestions from the NOSB that haven’t been applied, (2) problem a ultimate rule to implement all new suggestions inside one yr of the NOSB approving the advice, and (3) report back to Congress on an annual foundation whether or not certifiers have applied the brand new guidelines and whether or not any inconsistencies exist.

6. The Agriculture Resilience Act – Good for the Local weather, Good for Natural

OFRF, together with many different teams, endorsed the introduction of the Agriculture Resilience Act of 2021 (ARA) when the invoice was launched in April by Consultant Chellie Pingree (D-ME), herself an natural farmer, and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

The ARA is a farmer-focused, research-driven path to internet zero agriculture. The laws establishes bold but achievable targets for the agriculture sector to succeed in internet zero by 2040. The invoice improves and expands upon many present packages whereas creating just a few new grant packages to assist its six programmatic constructing blocks:

  • Rising investments in agricultural analysis
  • Bettering soil well being
  • Supporting the transition to pasture-based livestock
  • Guaranteeing farmland preservation and viability
  • Selling on-farm renewable vitality
  • Lowering meals waste
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