The Organic Trade Association applauded a bill introduced in the House that would create new investments into the Department of Agriculture Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. The Organic Trade Association says the investments included in the bill would meet the research needs of the growing organic sector. The Organic Research Act of 2017 would increase annual funding for USDA’s organic research efforts from its current $20 million to $50 million a year from 2018 to 2023.
Established in 2002, the program is USDA’s flagship organic research program, supporting research projects that address the critical challenges faced by organic farmers. The bill was introduced by Democrats Chellie Pingree of Maine and Jimmy Panetta of California, along with Central Washington Republican Dan Newhouse. Organic researchers say the funding is needed because farmers and consumers both are asking for enhanced research in organic farming.
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