USDA Seeking Comments on Organic Checkoff Proposal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced it is seeking public comments to a proposal for a nationwide research and promotion checkoff program for the organic industry. The organic industry proposal estimates the organic checkoff could raise more than $30 million a year to spend on organic research, according to the Organic Trade Association. The association called the action a significant step that will help advance the organic sector. OTA officially submitted an application to USDA in May of 2015 on behalf of the organic industry to consider implementing the program. The association submitted a revised application a year later to reflect alternatives presented to USDA from organic certificate holders. USDA established a 60-day public comment period for interested parties to now weigh in on the proposal. Comments on the proposal are due March 20th.


Vilsack Takes Post at U.S. Dairy Export Council

In an expected move, now former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join the U.S. Dairy Export Council. The council announced Tuesday Vilsack will become its CEO at the beginning of next month. Vilsack’s final day at USDA was last Friday, leaving Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse as the acting USDA Secretary. However, Scuse was expected to attend a confirmation hearing this week to again serve as the Agriculture Secretary of Delaware. Regarding the move, Vilsack says he looks forward to partnering with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the agriculture industry to “advance the council's mission and strengthen trust in American dairy." As president and CEO, Vilsack will provide strategic leadership and oversight of the council’s global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives.

Source;  NAFB News


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