Organic Policy Conference

Conference Day will begin with Organic Confluences sessions focusing on reducing plastics along the organic supply chain, followed by the Organic Policy Conference highlighting critical organic issues and policy updates as we head into the 2023 Farm Bill cycle. View the morning Organic Confluences agenda here.


Wednesday, May 10 │ Organic Policy Conference

Panel Discussion: Update on USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities Grant Projects
A panel discussion including several innovative organic agriculture projects made possible through USDA Climate Smart Grants. Carbon insetting, region-specific approaches, and educational campaigns to grow demand for climate-smart products are a few of the big organic ideas made possible as part of USDA’s $3.1 billion investment. Organic is the original climate-smart agriculture, and these transformative projects have plenty to teach us about improving agriculture and growing the marketplace.

Keynote: Helena Bottemiller Evich in conversation with Leah Douglas
Award-winning reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich for an on-stage interview led by Leah Douglas of Reuters on the infant formula crisis she uncovered last year, how the crisis disproportionately impacted rural and economically disadvantaged families, and what policies are needed to fix the issue and keep our children safe and healthy.

Keynote: Roger Cryan PhD
In light of rising food prices, supply chain issues such as a shrinking labor pool, transportation price increases, weather-related crop issues, and conflicts in key agricultural zones, Roger Cryan, Chief Economist at American Farm Bureau will provide his outlook for the nation’s food and ag economy, particularly as it relates to premium, value-added products.

A Conversation on Nutrition Equity
Ensuring an abundant and equitable food system is among the most pressing human health concerns. During this Farm Bill season, our thoughtful conversation with nationally recognized food policy innovators will illuminate what is possible when we acknowledge that food is medicine and make thoughtful choices about how to best fuel bodies and minds while sustaining cultures and empowering communities.

Confirmed Speakers:
Nora LaTorre, CEO, Eat REAL
Tambra Raye Stevenson, Founder, WANDA
USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt (Discussion Leader)


Shoring up the Demand Side – Pinpointed Market Development to Support Transitioning Farmers
The final element of USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) to be realized is a $100 million investment in Pinpointed Market Development Support. OTI is intended to help producers bring more organic crops to market, but without work on the demand side, farmers could be left without a market for their products. Where are the demand signals coming from? A panel of consumer product trend and innovation experts will discuss areas where work could be done to create links between growers and buyers, increase processing capacity for organic commodities, and foster international trade opportunities for organic crops – including minor crops (such as rotational crops) with smaller markets.

Panel Discussion: For the Long Haul: Supporting Diverse Business Partners Beyond the Certification Process
This panel discussion will explore tangible steps that businesses can take to help increase BIPOC diversity in their supply chains. It will discuss barriers, after certification, that leave marginalized producers/processors far from understanding what it takes to enter into the larger organic supply chain.

Confirmed Speakers
Stephanie Jerger, Vice President of Administration, OTA (Discussion Leader)
Amara Brown, Black Farmers Index
Leonard Freeman, Oregon Tilth
Seanicaa Herron-Edwards, Freedmen Heirs Foundation


Please stay tuned for more exciting keynote speakers to be announced, including members of Congress and USDA officials.