Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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USDA Misses Origin of Livestock Deadline

June 25, 2020

In the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill, the USDA was given 180 days to implement the Origin of Livestock Rule. This deadline passed without the National Organic Program finalizing this important rule, which will help to level the playing field for organic dairy producers. MOFGA has advocated for this change and along with several coalition partners signed on to a letter urging action now. We'll continue to monitor this situation closely and to work to ensure this rule is fully implemented.

 

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Take Action on Origin of Livestock

October 30, 2019

MOFGA has positive news to report on our work to fight for organic integrity: The USDA is taking action to finalize the Dairy Origin of Livestock (OOL) rule. This rule is a critical step in ensuring that all organic dairy producers play by the same rules, and once the rule is implemented, it will ensure that conventional dairy herds can be transitioned to organic only one time, rather than the continuous transition that some certifiers currently allow.

 

 

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Work to Protect Maine's Dairy Producers Continues

August 20, 2019 – On June 25th the House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2020 agriculture spending bill that included a provision to level the playing field for organic dairy producers. It would require USDA to issue a final regulation on 'Origin of Livestock' – the rules for how conventional dairy cows are transitioned into organic herds – within 180 days.

Passage of the origin of livestock rule has been a priority for MOFGA as it will help level the playing field in the organic dairy industry. Some certification agencies currently interpret the USDA national organic standards as allowing for continuous transition of conventionally raised dairy cows to organic production. This is inconsistent with the organic standards, which allow a one-time conversion. This continuous conversion is viewed as a loophole that MOFGA does not support and firmly believes should be clarified and closed.

Now we need the Senate to take action to protect organic dairy producers.

 

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Have you heard about our recent work in Washington D.C.?

June 6, 2019 – The quick update is that we're working hard to get funding for critical organic programs, including helping organic dairy farmers, but we need your support for this vital work. By watchdogging our public policy, MOFGA protects the health and longevity of all farming and food production in Maine. We are incredibly proud of the more than 530 MOFGA certified organic producers, and work to encourage the growth of new farms, maintain the resilience of existing farms, and educate consumers about why it's so important to buy local organic products. Please make a gift to support MOFGA's public policy work.

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Encouraging Developments in D.C. for Organic Farmers

House takes action on origin of livestock loophole

May 23, 2019 – The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and our allies at the National Organic Coalition (NOC) have been working for months to encourage the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to act on issues to benefit Maine’s dairy industry. The draft House agriculture appropriations bill released on May 22 is a victory on this front. Much work remains to be done, but some highlights include language that would require USDA to finalize the origin of livestock rule within 180 days and an increase in funding for the National Organic Program (NOP) to $18 million, up from $14 million.

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