March 29, 2022

Governor Mills had pushed the USDA multiple times to finalize the rule

Governor Janet Mills and Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner (DACF) Amanda Beal released the following statements today on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) finalized Origin of Livestock Rule. Governor Mills and Commissioner Beal urged USDA in 2019 and again in 2021 to finalize the rule.

“On behalf of the Maine organic dairy industry, I thank the USDA for finalizing the Origin of Livestock Rule,” said Governor Mills. “While long-overdue, this action will ensure consistency in how farms can source and transition dairy cows to organic production. Removing this long-open loophole will provide much-needed clarity and level the playing field for Maine's organic dairy farmers.”

“Inconsistency in enforcement of dairy herd transition practices outside of Maine has disadvantaged our certified organic producers, who have followed the intent of the National Organic Program,” said Amanda Beal, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “We greatly appreciate the work of the USDA to clarify the Origin of Livestock Rule and look forward to the certainty this will bring for our organic dairy farmers that this rule will be enforced evenly across the organic dairy industry in the U.S.”