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AnnouncementApril 12, 2016

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) has published slides from the recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) training online. We are also pleased to share information on the new Local Foods Survey released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and to announce a new funding opportunity.
National Organic Standards Board Training 
The Agricultural Marketing Service and the National Organic Program (NOP) hosted orientation training for the six new appointees to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) during a February 29 in-person session in Washington, DC and a March 29 webinar training session. NOSB members represent all segments of the organic community, come from all parts of the United States, and bring diverse perspectives.
Training topics included:
  • An Overview of the NOP, the Organic Foods Production Act, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act;
  • The National List Petition and Sunset Processes;
  • The rulemaking life cycle;
  • Best practices for developing proposals and recommendations; and
  • Annual ethics and conflict of interest training.
Training slides are available on the NOSB Meetings page.

USDA Launches First-Ever Local Foods Survey  
On April 7, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced its 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey as part of its continued support of local and regional food. This first-time survey will produce official benchmark data on the local food sector in the United States. 
Producers who receive the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey from NASS are strongly encouraged to respond. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online via a secure website,, or return their form by mail.

For more information about the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, view the press release and visit
Value-Added Producer Grant Opportunities Available
On April 8, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making up to $44 million available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Value-Added Producer Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones. Priority for these grants is given to veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches. Additional priority is given to applicants who seek funding for projects that will create or increase marketing opportunities for these types of operators.
View the  Press Release.

To learn more, visit  Value-Added Producer Grants
About the Agricultural Marketing Service
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world.
About the USDA Organic Insider

The USDA Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of functions, including regulatory updates, requests for public comments, and USDA programs and services.

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