Text: H.R.3637 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (08/01/2017)


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3637


To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to better assist producers who are voluntarily making the transition to organic production systems, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 1, 2017

Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to better assist producers who are voluntarily making the transition to organic production systems, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Homegrown Organic Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Programs for producers transitioning to organic production systems.

(a) Conservation reserve program.—Section 1235(f) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3835(f)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking “or a socially” and inserting “a farmer or rancher transitioning to organic farming or ranching, or a socially”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(3) CAP ON ENROLLMENT.—The Secretary may establish a cap on the number of acres subject to contract modifications described in paragraph (1) with regard to farmers or ranchers transitioning to organic farming or ranching if the Secretary determines that such a cap would be necessary to mitigate any significant erosion of organic commodity premiums.

“(4) DEFINITION.—In this section, a ‘farmer or rancher transitioning to organic farming or ranching’ means a farmer or rancher who agrees to gain organic certification under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) while the land to be transferred pursuant to a contract modification described in paragraph (1) is subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program.”.

(b) Conservation stewardship program.—Section 1238G of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838g) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(j) Establishment of organic transition bundles.—

“(1) AVAILABILITY OF ORGANIC TRANSITION BUNDLES.—In entering into conservation stewardship contracts under section 1238F, the Secretary shall make organic transition bundles available to producers transitioning to organic production.

“(2) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible for a contract that includes an organic transition bundle, a producer shall agree to gain organic certification under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) while participating in a contract under the conservation stewardship program.

“(3) ORGANIC TRANSITION BUNDLE.—In this subsection, the term ‘organic transition bundle’ means a grouping of conservation activities that the Secretary determines are—

“(A) appropriate for producers tran­si­tion­ing into organic production, including organic cropping, livestock, and grazing systems; and

“(B) based on existing groupings or bundles of conservation activities designed for organic producers.

“(4) ENROLLMENT.—The Secretary may cap enrollment of land to be covered by conservation stewardship contracts that include organic transition bundles per year, on a commodity basis, if the Secretary determines that such a cap would be necessary to mitigate any significant erosion of organic commodity premiums.

“(5) TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS.—The Secretary may terminate a conservation stewardship contract that includes payments for organic transition bundles, or modify such a contract to terminate such payments, if the Secretary determines that the producer—

“(A) is not pursuing organic certification; or

“(B) is not in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq).”.

(c) Removal of payment cap for certain payments within the environmental quality incentives program.—Section 1240B(i) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa–2(i)) is amended—

(1) by striking paragraph (3); and

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively.