Farm Bill

The U.S. Farm Bill

The farm bill is a critical piece of federal legislation that sets the nation’s food and agricultural policies. It shapes nutrition programs such as food stamps, how many resources we will put into conservation of natural resources, the number of farmers’ markets we will see, and of course, the amount of resources going to support organic farmers.

Organic farmers have historically not received many benefits from farm bill programs, but as organic continues to grow, so does its representation in farm bills. Now, federal crop insurance and other historic farm bill programs include provisions for organic growers and organic programs specific programs such as the National Organic Program and National Organic Certification Cost Share Program are funded through the farm bill. Additional programs that provide technical assistance and funds for organic agricultural research are also included in the farm bill.

Our 2018 Farm Bill Priorities

National Organic Program: Authorize increased funding of 10 percent each year above the $15 million per year authorization.

National Organic Certification Cost Share Program: Protect funding at $11.5 million mandatory funding annually.

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative: Increase mandatory funding from $20 million to $50 million annually by supporting H.R. 2436.

Organic Data Initiative: Provide $5 million in mandatory funding over the life of the 2018 Farm Bill and an additional authorization of $5 million per year.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program: Protect funding, include succession planning as a grant purpose, and ensure grant availability for organizations providing training and technical assistance.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program: Protect funding at current levels: $85 million annually; California’s share varies depending on specialty crop receipts each year.

Whole Farm Revenue Protection: Improve crop insurance programs for organic producers.

Conservation Programs: Maintain funding for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), increase maximum payments for the EQIP Organic Initiative, and support Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

For more details, read our full list of 2018 Farm Bill Priorities.

CCOF at Work

CCOF is hard at work ensuring that programs that support organic farmers and consumers continue to grow. We educate members of Congress about the benefits of organic and offer ways to better support the sector through public policy. We also work closely with an array of coalition partners to promote organic in the farm bill because we believe there is strength in numbers. Our partners include the California Farm Bill Caucus, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and the Organic Trade Association.

If you want to get involved in advocating for organic farmers and consumers, please contact CCOF’s policy department at policy@ccof.org.