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Negative feelings for proposed organic checkoff

A farmer leader with an organic growers association says he has concerns over USDA’s proposed national organic checkoff program. Carmen Fernholtz is Vice President of the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing.

“I don’t think we NEED the checkoff. I think we’re doing just fine without it. I think the consumer interest is there and we continue to see it,” says Fernholtz.

He tells Brownfield though if a checkoff program is going to happen, there is another option.

“We could use the current USDA process whereby the checkoff dollars that I already pay into corn growers, soybean growers, etc. would be allocated to a USDA fund that could be geared towards organic research or organic promotion,” says Fernholtz.

The Organic Trade Association, the largest organic lobbying group, supports the checkoff proposal. Organic farmers have until March 20th to comment on the USDA proposal.

Click here to read and comment on the organic checkoff proposal

Audio: Carmen Fernholtz, VP, Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing

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