The USDA announced new leadership at the National Organic Program, which probably comes not a moment too soon. The program, which regulates organic agriculture in the US, has been beset by criticism. Now, with renewed focus, it will hopefully push forward.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Miles McEvoy has been hired to serve as Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP). McEvoy assumes his position on Oct. 1. Vilsack also announced that the NOP will become an independent program area within AMS because of the increased visibility and emphasis on organic agriculture throughout the farming community, evolving consumer preferences, and the enhanced need for governmental oversight of this widely expanded program. Organically grown and marketed agricultural products are of key interest to the Obama Administration, and the NOP will be receiving increased funding and staffing in the new fiscal year.
"Miles McEvoy has worked in the field of organic agriculture for more than two decades and has a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the organic community," Vilsack said.
For more than 20 years, McEvoy led the Washington State Department of Agriculture's (WSDA) Organic Food Program, one of the nation's first state organic certification programs. In 2001, he helped establish the WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program. From 1993 until 1995, McEvoy was the founding Director of The Food Alliance, a program that blends sustainable farming practices and social welfare components into an eco-label program.