National Organic Program (NOP)-Access to Pasture (Livestock)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites comments from producers, handlers, processors, food manufacturers, exporters, consumers, scientists, industry representatives, and all other interested parties on how USDA should address the relationship between ruminant animals, particularly dairy animals, and pasture or land used for grazing under the NOP regulations. During the development of the NOP, and since its implementation, various parties, including the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), have expressed concern about the role of pasture in organic management of ruminant animals particularly dairy animals. The NOP is authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) (OFPA). The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers the NOP. Under the NOP, AMS oversees national standards for the production and handling of organically produced agricultural products. This action is being taken by AMS to ensure that NOP regulations are clear and consistent, stimulate growth of the organic sector, satisfy consumer expectations, and allow organic producers and handlers flexibility in making site-specific, real-time management decisions.