NEW ORLEANS, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
In response to Mr. Perdue's confirmation and in light of last week's National Organic Standards Board meeting discussion regarding hydroponic and aquaponic organic certification, Marianne Cufone, executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition, issued the following statement:
"Now that our new Secretary of Agriculture has been sworn in to a very pro-industry administration, we hope that his first accomplishments will include supporting expansion and development of farming in the United States, by making sure hydroponic and aquaponic farms are able to keep their hard-earned USDA Organic certification.
"Recirculating farms, like many hydroponic and aquaponic operations, can use less water, space and energy than most traditional in-ground and raised-bed growing methods using dirt. Many facilities already meet or can even exceed existing organic regulations. Allowing these farms to keep their USDA Organic certification would send a powerful message that the USDA values sustainability and innovation.
Additionally, USDA regularly says it wants to encourage new farmers and engage more young people in growing. Hydroponics and aquaponics do both. Though these techniques are centuries old, there are new twists making them exciting and innovative. We should be encouraging farmers to use resource-smart techniques and invest time and money to be USDA Organic, not discourage them by taking away the possibility of certification."
About Recirculating Farms:
A recirculating farm uses nutrient rich, clean recycled water, as a basis to grow food. These farms can grow vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs and other plants (hydroponics), fish (aquaculture), or both plants and fish together (aquaponics). These are mostly closed-loop, land-based farms that can run without antibiotics, other drugs or synthetic chemicals and use renewable energy. These farms do not need to be connected to natural waters for sourcing or drainage, and can therefore grow a wide range of products without the threat of releasing them into the wild, or creating competition with fishermen who make their living selling popular local fish.
The Recirculating Farms Coalition is a collaborative group of farmers, educators, non-profit organizations and many others committed to building local sources of healthy, accessible food. Through research, training and advocacy, we work together to support the development of eco-efficient farms that recycle water and waste, as the basis to grow food.
Contact: Michael Pauker, email@example.com, 646-335-0330
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SOURCE Recirculating Farms Coalition