Righting the wrongs of the Farm Bill extension

As you may recall, Congress passed a fiscal cliff deal in the first days of January that included an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. The extension language, however, did not provide funding for 37 programs, including the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and the Organic Data Initiative (ODI). OTA has been hard at work encouraging Congress to restore funding for these programs. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced a fiscal package that would avoid a sequester, and correct the Farm Bill extension by reforming direct payments, restoring funding to the cut programs, and providing funding for livestock disaster assistance. OTA is very supportive of this proposal – and encourages its members to reach out to their Representatives and Senators to support this plan. Contact Marni Karlin, OTA’s Associate Director of Legislative and Legal Affairs, for guidance.

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