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Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council looking to fill four spots

The group is made up of 12 individuals

By Diego Flammini,

People representing Wisconsin’s organic agriculture industry and have a passion to shape its future are encouraged to apply to be part of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council and fill four vacancies.

“Wisconsin’s organic industry is strong and full of opportunities for producers, processors, and consumers,” said Theresa Feiner, a market development specialist who focuses on market development for organics, specialty crops and grazing. “The council provides important guidance and is a great way for individuals to support the industry.”

A total of four members are being sought to represent different areas of the organic agriculture community; one person will represent a farm, one a business, one will represent consumer interests and one will represent the group at-large. Elected individuals serve three-year terms and meet quarterly with the rest of the council.

Anyone interested in applying must have their nomination form submitted by Monday, February 15th, 2016.

The Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council

Who – 12 people representing farmers, businesses, consumers, non-profit education, certification and the group at-large.

What – A private sector body appointed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to advise agriculture agencies on organic agriculture issues.

Why – In 2004, Governor Jim Doyle challenged Wisconsin to lead the United States in organic agriculture.

How – Individual outreach, technical assistance, coordination of the Organic Advisory Council, working together with other agencies in educational and research capacities, and administering the federal Organic Certification Cost Share program.

Some accomplishments of the Organic Advisory Council:

  • In 2010, it created an online registry of organic farms to provide pesticide applicators with information to reduce spray damage potential.
  • Provided recommendations on organic farming needs for the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • Continually updates the organic farm and business directory.
  • Provided input and technical assistance to staff of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture on nutrient management planning in 2010.

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture:

  • Wisconsin ranked second in the United States in total number of organic farms with 1,180. California ranked first with 3,008 organic farms.
  • Wisconsin ranks first in number of organic dairy farms with 466 and organic beef farms with 69.
  • The state ranks fourth in the United States in organic commodity sales, worth $122 million.

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