On Nov. 1, the Senate passed a minibus appropriations bill to fund agriculture programs through Fiscal Year 2012 (which ends Sept. 30, 2012). This included programs that are critical to the organic industry, according to the Organic Trade Association. At the same time, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are still working on recommendations for the Super Committee.
According to OTA more than 10,000 organic industry members and consumers have contacted their members of Congress to support funding for organic programs. It’s not too late to show your support for organic and weigh in, you can do so through the OTA’s website.
Navigating Washington is just one problem organic farmers face. With organic foods and beverages at $23.4 billion in 2010, according to Nutrition Business Journal and Natural Products Expo East Digest, farmers are working hard against urban sprawl, GMOs, distribution and insurance challenges. All to meet the demand for organic and keep the organic industry alive and growing.
Earlier this year, we traveled across the country interviewing organic farmers to learn about the daily obstacles they face. In light of this, we also heard about what keeps them going—their faith, the environment, doing the right thing, the possibility of a greater local food network—in a line of work that is far from easy.
The video below with Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm in Granville, N.Y., is the first in a series of four where NewHope360 follows organic farmers and the issues they face. Listen for yourself, and as we work to move the needle in Washington and fight against GMOs with JustLabelIt.org, let’s not forget the hands that till the soil—the farmers who are the backbone of the organic industry.