You may be wondering why you are getting this organic newsletter? I am sure your inbox is full enough but if you have an interest in growing, producing, marketing, making, or selling anything organic I hope you find this newsletter has your interest and curiosity!
I (Bob Whitney) am the new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist – Statewide Organic Programs in the Agricultural Economics Department. My job is so new that what I might be doing is still being developed! Some of the things I hope to do include providing guidance to producers or other entities wanting help with organic certification. To serve as a liaison connecting organic operators (farm to retail) to Extension and Research scientists to provide guidance on general and specific questions about organics. To communicate with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and other organic certifiers to help facilitate compliance with organic certification requirements. Through this process I hopefully can provide feedback to Texas A&M AgriLife and TDA on the state of organic agriculture based on the many interactions I will have with farmers, ranchers, and other organic businesses. In addition, I will work to eliminate any barriers to organic certification and thereby increase the viability of organic agriculture in the state.
There is no reason that as large and diverse as Texas agriculture is, we can’t have an equally large and diverse Organic Agriculture. Texas should be a place where organic farm families can consistently and sustainably grow and sell high quality organic foods that promote the health and well-being of consumers. And Texas companies that make and sell organic products from the small organic bakery to a large retailer like Central Market can and will source some if not all their organic ingredients from Texas Organic Farm Families!