Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today was awarded the Organic Trade Association's (OTA) Public Servant Award during OTA's Policy Conference & Hill Visit Days, for his three decades of support of the organic industry. 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.
"The Central Coast has been a leader in organic from the beginning and getting involved in this movement was a no brainer for me," said Congressman Sam Farr. "This industry continues to show us that doing what's good for the environment and what's good for industry economics are not mutually exclusive. Organic producers are creating jobs, while meeting an increase demand from health and environmentally conscience consumers. This is a win-win formula for our economy and the environment."
"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 resident of the Central Coast, presented the award today in conjunction with OTA's 2012 Policy Conference.
As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee's Agriculture 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.
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.