Florida and Kentucky Organic Growers Form Alliance With Organic Trade Association; Tom Chapman, Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, and Brooke Gentile Share
WASHINGTON, DC - Growth and expansion are always exciting to hear in our industry, and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is sure feeling the celebration as it recently announced two premier farmer-governed organic associations—the Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK)—have joined its Farmers Advisory Council (FAC).
“As momentum for the next Farm Bill builds, and other important organic issues come to center stage, the input from the Florida Organic Growers and the Organic Association of Kentucky will help us greatly in our understanding of the key issues and needs for organic producers in those areas, and strengthen and enrich the voice of the OTA,” said Tom Chapman, Chief Executive Officer of the Organic Trade Association. “We heartily welcome the two organizations to FAC and look forward to their participation and involvement.”
According to the release, the two groups represent around 1,500 organic farmers around the country.
“Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and OTA have a long and fruitful relationship. We know that as a member of the Farmers Advisory Council and through our connections and relationships with organic producers not only in our state but also in the Southeast region, we can inform OTA of the issues that matter most to them, so we can work together to influence changes that will benefit the organic industry,” said Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, Executive Director of FOG.
With both FOG and OAK participating in OTA’s Farmers Advisory Council, the organizations will boost their influence on national organic policy and help the trade association to more effectively advocate for the needs of all organic producers by expanding its geographic reach and increasing its representation of under-served farming communities.
The new alliance with OTA now opens the opportunity for FOG and OAK members to join OTA under its Farmstead Membership category. This membership category makes full OTA membership available for just $50 per year to organic farmers whose annual income from organic sales is less than $250,000. Farmstead Membership farmers get the full benefits of an OTA membership, including the right to vote in OTA's annual Board of Directors election.
“With steady growth in demand for organic produce, grains, and protein across our region, the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) knows this new partnership will support the interests of organic and transitioning farmers in Kentucky, providing meaningful access to policy discussions and resources, and expanding opportunities for small organic farms to thrive, here at home and across the country,” said Brooke Gentile, Executive Director of OAK.
Cheers to more partnerships in the future!