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What Producers Can Do Now
With a new administration in Washington DC, and the need for consistent implementation of organic regulation to ensure a fair and level playing field, organic producers need to educate policy makers on the dire conditions of the organic dairy market. While the policy and regulation issues within the organic dairy community are foremost in our minds, they are of limited interest to most Congressional senators and representatives. For most of these legislators, understanding the issues is delegated to legislative aides who have varying levels of continued both knowledge of organics and enthusiasm for bringing the issues to the attention of their ‘boss.’
These senators, representatives, and their legislative aides receive many requests for support for different programs. They do respond to constituent requests, especially those requests that contain a clear statement of a situation, its implications for their constituents, and a way they can help.
Remember that old adage, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease’? Now is the time for all producers, their families and supporters to directly contact their Congressional Senators and Representatives in person or by phone, fax or email to educate them on what is happening to organically certified dairy farm families. We need to tell them how they can help us: directly, when drafting the Farm Bill, and when they consider their annual appropriations.
In order to help educate all legislators, we have included, below, a letter that summarizes the situation in organic dairy and includes talking points on what can be done on the Federal level. NODPA, NOFA NY and other organic organizations will be supplying these talking points directly to the Northeast congressional delegation.
Link you can use when contacting your
senators and representatives in Congress
It is vitally important that all producers and their families take the time to educate and inform their Congressional representatives and senators who will be charged with crafting the upcoming Farm Bill and making decisions about how federal dollars will be spent. They need to understand the dire situation that the organic milk market is in, and they need to hear directly from you, the producers. This letter can be found online, at www.nodpa.com or you can copy it from this newsletter. Contact information for your senators and representatives can be found online at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials, and emails and calls are effective tools for reaching them. If you do not access the internet, contact information can be found at all local government offices and the US Post Office, and mailing letters is always effective. Regardless of the way you make contact, the most important thing is to take action now.