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Organic industry to honor Congressman Farr with Public Servant Award

Presentation takes place during OTA’s Policy Conference & Hill Visit Days

Contact: Barbara Haumann (; 802-275-3820)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 12, 2012)—Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), a member of Congress since 1993 and a major supporter of the organic sector for more than three decades, will be awarded the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Public Servant Award during OTA’s Policy Conference & Hill Visit Days here in D.C. later this month.

Congressman Sam Farr, speaking at OTA's 2011 Policy Conference

Congressman Farr currently co-chairs the House Organic Caucus, and is Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture. In these roles, he provides strong, continuous leadership on issues facing the organic industry.

“OTA’s Board of Directors is honored to recognize Congressman Sam Farr with OTA’s Public Servant Award for his unwavering support and advocacy for organic farmers and the organic sector,” said Melody Meyer, Vice President of Global Initiatives for UNFI and member of the OTA Board of Directors. Meyer, a constituent of Congressman Farr’s, will present the award in conjunction with OTA’s 2012 Policy Conference on April 25. The ceremony will be held at the Newseum, conveniently located just steps from Capitol Hill.

As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee, Congressman Farr has successfully championed funding for programs critical to the organic sector including the National Organic Program, as well as research and data collection. The organic sector has grown by double-digits over the last two decades, and Congressman Farr’s support of the regulatory, research and market data collection at USDA has enabled the industry to grow, create jobs and provide consumer choice in the marketplace.

Congressman Farr’s support for organic dates back over a quarter of a century. While in the California State Assembly (1980-1993), he successfully sponsored the 1990 California Organic Standards Act, the first state law defining organic agriculture. Prior to becoming a State Assemblyperson, he served on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, as a budget staffer for the California State Assembly, and in the U.S. Peace Corps.

“Few public servants have done more over their careers to advocate and deliver public policy to advance organic food and farming,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO. “We are so happy to express our appreciation to Congressman Farr with this award,” she added.

Established in 2009, OTA’s Public Servant Award recognizes and honors individuals in government who have shown outstanding support for organic agriculture and trade. The OTA’s Public Servant Award was first given to Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) in 2009, followed by Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-7) in 2010, and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) in 2011.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.