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National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Comment Period Open; Travel Scholarships Available for Farmers To Attend NOSB Meeting in Rhode Island

by Jane Sooby |


The National Organic Program has released the agenda for the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting, which will be held October 24–26, 2023, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The NOSB is a federal advisory board that makes recommendations on organic standards and materials to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture. The fall NOSB meeting is when votes are taken on whether or not to remove materials from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. All materials on the National List are reviewed for continued listing every five years on a staggered basis.

For a quick summary of materials and issues that will be considered at this meeting, consult the meeting agenda. Public comment will be accepted via online webinars that will be held Tuesday, October 17 and Thursday, October 19 from noon to 5 p.m. Eastern. Written comments will also be accepted. The deadline to register for oral comment and to submit written comment is September 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. You can register to give oral comments on the USDA website; scroll down to the registration form. You can also submit written comments. This link will also take you to the address for mailed comments under “For Further Information Contact.”

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) is offering a limited number of travel scholarships to farmers who want to attend the NOC Pre-NOSB meeting (October 23, 2023) and the NOSB meeting in Providence. Applications are due September 25.

The following topics (and more!) will be discussed during the NOC and NOSB meetings:

  • Policy: Washington, D.C. organic policy update, 2023 Farm Bill priorities, the new Organic Transition Initiative at USDA, organic animal welfare rules (Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards or OLPS rule), new rules to prevent fraud in organic supply chains (Strengthening Organic Enforcement or SOE rule)
  • Equity: Building a more equitable and inclusive organic movement
  • Farmer Issues: Helping more farmers go organic, organic dairy challenges, organic certification cost share, innovations to reduce paperwork for certified operations, use of high-nitrogen fertilizers, increasing access to land for organic farmers
  • NOSB topics: Use of plastics in organic agriculture, inert materials in organic pesticide products, ethylene in pineapple production, crop insurance needs for organic producers, materials used in organic production


Interested farmers should fill out this online application:


The fine print: Priority will be given to farmers who apply by Monday, September 25. NOC has limited funds and may not be able to grant all scholarship requests. Farmers who apply by September 25 will be notified of scholarship awards no later than September 29.


The NOC scholarship is meant to cover any travel-related expenses (mileage, parking, transportation, meals, lodging, etc.). Scholarship amounts will vary depending on how many applications are submitted and the specific needs of applicants. Priority will be given to certified or transitioning organic farmers who have never received a NOC scholarship before. We ask that scholarship recipients attend the NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting on Monday, October 23, if possible.

Farmers who receive a scholarship will be reimbursed for expenses within 30 days of submitting travel expense receipts. NOC may be able to book and pay for hotel expenses up front. Please direct any questions about the scholarship application process to


The National Organic Coalition (NOC) is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a “Washington voice” for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers, and others who care about organic agriculture. For more information, visit the NOC website at