The 2014 Farm Bill allows all organic farmers and businesses to pull assessed monies out of conventional check-off programs. In December, the USDA issued proposed rules to set this process up.
A strong response from organic farmers and businesses will let the USDA know this exemption is important to organic agriculture, and these rules need to be put in place as quickly as possible. The instructions below will guide you on how to submit comments. Here are talking points:
Comments must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2015
They can be electronically submitted at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=AMS-FV-14-0032-0001
By Fax: (202) 720–8938
By mail: Submit comments to this address:
Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program
Agricultural Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-0237
Example of how to start your letter:
Re: Proposed Rule regarding Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law: AMS-FV-14-0032-0001 (Dec. 16, 2014) (Federal Register Number 2014-29280) (79 Fed. Reg. 75006 et seq.)
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on USDA’s Proposed Rule regarding Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law.
I fully support the proposed rule mandated by a bi-partisan vote by both houses of Congress.
Example of how to close your letter:
I thank USDA for the speed in developing this proposed rule and urge them to proceed to a final rule as quickly as possible, with immediate implementation.
-- Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director