January 9, 2020 (Kutztown, Pennsylvania): Organic Farmers Association, the nation’s unified voice for certified organic farmers sponsored by the nonprofit Rodale Institute, has named Patty Lovera as its new Policy Director.
Lovera brings an impressive background in grassroots organizing on farm and food issues and lobbying in Washington, D.C., as well as extensive knowledge of organic farming topics. Previously, she helped start and grow Food & Water Watch (FWW), serving as their Food and Water Program Director for 14 years. In this role, she represented FWW in the National Organic Coalition.
“I am looking forward to working directly with organic farmers from across the nation and supporting a strong voice for organic farmer issues in Washington, D.C.,” said Lovera. “Working directly with farmers has always been a passion of mine. I am eager to continue working to build a strong organic farmer movement with Organic Farmers Association.”
Lovera has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Lehigh University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan. Before joining FWW, she was the deputy director of the Energy and Environment program at Public Citizen and a researcher at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.
“Patty’s extensive background in grassroots mobilization around sustainable and organic food policy will help Organic Farmers Association expand our engagement among domestic certified organic farmers as well as continue to impact those policies on the hill,” said Organic Farmers Association director Kate Mendenhall.
As Policy Director, Lovera will work directly with Organic Farmers Association’s elected Policy Committee, comprised of twelve certified organic farmer members and six advisory organizational members from six U.S. geographic regions. She will facilitate the annual grassroots policy development process, where all U.S. certified organic farmers are invited to submit policy priorities and policy positions for the Policy Committee’s review, and ultimately OFA farmer members’ vote.
Lovera will build extensive grassroots campaigns around key organic farmer policy priorities, as well as ensure the participation of a strong organic voice in the development of the next Farm Bill. The OFA Policy Director is directly responsible for bringing the concerns of OFA members to Congress through lobby days and other advocacy efforts.
Lovera’s addition to the Organic Farmers Association team comes as the organization is still gathering input from certified organic growers on their policy priorities for 2020. She will also guide the organization during their Advocacy Day in March 2020. OFA’s legislative priorities in 2019 included improving enforcement of the Origin of Livestock Rule and organic dairy standards, removing hydroponics from organic certification, and eliminating organic fraud.
“We’re thrilled to bring such as impressive organic advocate to Organic Farmers Association,” said OFA President David Colson, an organic farmer from Maine.
Lovera will begin her work at Organic Farmers Association preparing certified organic farmers for the upcoming organic farmer advocacy day on March 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Certified organic farmers from across the country will unite for training and advocacy in Washington to represent their fellow organic farmers and make sure our elected officials hear the policy priorities of organic farmers to continue to supply communities across the country with healthy food and fiber.
To join or support Organic Farmers Association in its efforts to bring an organic voice to national policy, please visit OrganicFarmersAssociation.org.