Organic Week DC took place from May 20-23, 2019 and ShiftCon was in the building making sure our voices were heard as we lobbied for support in including some verbiage in the Farm Bill as well as some other things. Many of our very own influencers arrived in D.C. early Monday morning ready to participate in Organic Week accompanied by our fearless leader Ari Adams and the original Shifter Leah Segedie.
What is Organic Week?
Organic Week D.C. is the opportunity for like-minded individuals and businesses to come together and share information. From their website:
It’s time to double-down on big ideas and better solutions. In the backdrop of the nation’s capital, join us at the epicenter of culinary creativity for a collaborative event about the future of organic. We’ll explore leading-edge thinking, discuss bold strategies, and take incremental steps to advance policy and private sector solutions.
Small organic producers to major growers, family-run organic operations to nationwide companies, researchers and policy advocates to distributors and retailers will come together to advance organic policy priorities. You can’t afford to miss this intimate offering of education, advocacy, and networking brought to you by the Organic Trade Association.
This is a 4-day interactive conference that offers participants various ways to participate in really engaging with others while lobbying for a good cause during the Advocacy Day.
This year, Advocacy Day was on Tuesday. In a word, it was intense. This was my first time participating in anything like this and I was a bundle of nerves as I walked with fellow advocates from office to office meeting with different state representatives to review and ask for the changes we deemed necessary to take effect in the Farm Bill. For those that don’t know, every 5 years, Congress passes a bill that shapes food and agriculture, rural economies, trade, and so much more. WIth farm incomes plunging hard, climate change increasing the threat of natural disasters and impending trade wars, the current state of the Farm Bill is more important than ever.
Top Asks for 2019:
- Fully funded organic programs in annual appropriations and requires USDA to issue a final rule on Origin of Livestock.
- Increase accessibility for organic foods in federal programs that feed children.
- Recognize the contributions of organic farming in mitigating climate change.
- Repair the public-private partnership and advance organic standards.
After advocating all day on Tuesday, Wednesday we had the opportunity to sit and learn. ShiftCon CEO Ari Adams was on the panel discussing diversity in the organic industry which is an important topic that needs addressing. David Wasserman delivered a poignant talk that linked the impact of Whole Foods, Cracker Barrels and votes–yes, it was as interesting as it sounds. Conference Day provided really thought-provoking material that is sure to help propel us in making the necessary changes.
Check out this video that Krysten from Krysten’s Kitchen compiled: