Good news! After years of work from the organic community, the USDA finally released the Origin of Livestock final rule, closing loopholes that will level the playing field for organic dairy farms. And Congress continued to slowly move towards the next Farm Bill while the National Organic Standards Board gets ready for its spring meeting.
A WIN for Organic Integrity!
Organic Farmers Association has been pushing the USDA for a strong final Origin of Livestock Rule since we were created in 2016. This issue has been at the top of our farmer-identified priority list every year. On March 29, USDA finally released the final rule!
The new final rule:
• Specifies that a dairy livestock operation transitioning to organic, or starting a new organic farm, is allowed to transition non-organic animals ONCE.
• Prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy is certified organic, any new animals must have been born as certified organic (managed as organic from the last third of gestation).
This win would not have been possible without the support and action from so many organic farmers, organic farm organizations, and organic consumers who signed on to letters to Congress and USDA asking for support for organic dairy farmers with clear Origin of Livestock Standards.
Now that we have a final Origin of Livestock rule that clarifies the standards for organic dairy transition and growth, we will need to make sure that the USDA’s National Organic Program is requiring organic certification agencies to enforce this rule uniformly.