CORA Celebrates Legislative Success
Funding Secured for Organic Evaluation
The recently concluded 2023 legislative session in Washington State marked a significant milestone for the Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture (CORA). For the first time, the newly formed coalition actively advocated for legislative action in support of its priorities.
Among CORA’s top goals is the creation of an Organic Action Plan that documents the values of organic agriculture and provides a roadmap for increasing participation in the organic sector throughout Washington State. CORA’s advocacy efforts secured $200,000 in funding for an organic evaluation budget request, the first step towards achieving a more comprehensive Organic Action Plan.
Evaluation Will Assess Contributions of Organic Ag
The organic evaluation budget request aims to assess the current contribution of organic and climate-smart agriculture towards Washington’s climate goals, explore opportunities for increasing this contribution, and identify additional investments required to realize this potential.
To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, the Washington State Conservation Commission will bring together key stakeholders, including the Washington Departments of Agriculture and Ecology, Washington State University, Conservation Districts, tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations like Tilth Alliance, and more.
Celebrating the Funding Success & Next Steps
We are thrilled to have succeeded in obtaining funding for this work! With continued advocacy and collaboration, Washington State is on track to become a thriving hub for organic and regenerative agriculture.
The allocation of $200,000 for the organic evaluation is a significant achievement for CORA and the organic farming community in Washington State, and demonstrates the commitment of the Washington State legislature to promote and support the growth of organic farming.
While the secured funding for the organic evaluation is cause for celebration, it is just the beginning of what we hope will become a more comprehensive Organic Action Plan. Additional funding will be required to complete the work and develop a roadmap for expanding the organic sector in our state. CORA plans to request additional funding to complete the work in future legislative sessions.
Other Bills of Interest
Melissa Spear, executive director of Tilth Alliance and co-chair of CORA, also testified in support of two other bills of interest. Both of these bills were successfully passed!
- HB 1552 tasked the Washington Conservation Commission with conducting a study of urban agriculture in Washington.
- SB 5341 tasks the Washington State Department of Agriculture with creating a location-based branding and promotion program for Washington food and agricultural products.
Learn More About CORA
CORA is a new coalition of farmers, organizations, and activists advocating for policies, programs, and resources that supports broad adoption of organic, regenerative, and sustainable agricultural practices. Learn more about CORA’s mission, how it works and how you can get involved on our website.