Last week I was in Washington DC for the Organic Trade Association‘s jam-packed policy week. It started with a great summit, on organic agricultural research at universities and sustainability incentives from different government agencies. The following day Clif Bar hosted a fun run.
As a farmer I don’t often exercise outside of my normal farm work, but I joined in and ran four miles around the national mall. It was a great way to start a day of member meetings at the Organic Trade Association. Wednesday was the big policy conference where Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke about the growth of organics.
Various elected officials addressed the audience about the eventual labeling of GMOs and the need for more organic supply. The day came to close in the beautiful US Botanic Garden where we celebrated Congressman Sam Farr for his years of work in organic legislation. The last day was filled with Capitol Hill visits with congressmen to talk about how organic agriculture benefits their communities and how they can help organics continue to grow. When I was done with my visits, I jumped on the metro and met up with my parents, for a few days of relaxing on the Eastern Shore. I got to enjoy my favorite childhood treat, a lemon stick, at the Chestertown Historic Tea Party festival.
I spent time walking around historic towns, sailed the bay on a skipjack, and even got to meet up with the waterman of the year, Robbie Bowen, to discuss collaboration between organic farmers and watermen.