On March 2, Moffitt visited with Georgia Organics and farmers Russell Brydson (Slender Approach Farm), Celia Barrs (Woodland Gardens), and Nicholas Donck (Crystal Natural Farm) to debate rising certification prices and easing the obstacles to attaining and sustaining natural certification.
Through the assembly Moffitt outlined a brand new USDA initiative that might supply further help for natural growers, and the dialog ranged from reimbursements and value shares to certifier customer support, and the dearth thereof. Moffitt was additionally extraordinarily focused on studying extra about Georgia Organics’ Accelerator program, 200 Natural Farms work, and the various obstacles natural farmers face in Georgia and the Southeast United States.
Moffitt, who started serving because the undersecretary on Aug. 11, 2021, grew up on and finally ran a licensed natural household walnut farm in California. Mofitt now oversees the division of the USDA that administers the Nationwide Natural Program, and lots of others, together with home and worldwide advertising of U.S. agricultural merchandise, plant and animal well being, genetically engineered organisms rules, the Animal Welfare Act, and wildlife harm administration.
The USDA just lately launched extra particulars on the natural transitioning program Moffitt alluded to. Whereas extra particulars are wanted, the brand new Natural Transition Initiative seems to be a much-needed dedication from the USDA to stage the taking part in area for farmers looking for to attain natural certification.
Lastly, the interplay with Moffitt and subsequent USDA actions to help natural agriculture verify that advocacy efforts, as requested by Georgia Organics’ constituents, are an necessary a part of the group’s dedication to natural farmer prosperity.
The Natural Certification Value Share Program will stay one in every of Georgia Organics’ high advocacy priorities as 2023 Farm Invoice discussions warmth up. Georgia Organics will proceed to push for significant advances within the Farm Invoice alongside its allies, particularly the Nationwide Sustainable Coalition, which supplied Georgia Organics with a grant to start its farmer advocacy efforts, and the Natural Commerce Affiliation, upon whose Farmer Advisory Council, Local weather Change Job Drive, and Variety Council Georgia Organics sits.