The National Organic Program appointed 16 members to a task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with USDA organic regulations.
The new task force members are Will Allen, Milwaukee, Wis.; Colin Archipley, Esondido, Calif.; John Biernbaum, Ph.D., East Lansing, Mich.; Angela Caporelli, Frankfort, Ky.; Dave Chapman, East Thetford, Vt.; Marianne Cufone J.D., New Orleans, La.; Amy Lamendella, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Richard Shultz, Lethbridge, AB, Canada; Eric Sideman, PhD., Strafford, N.H.; Pierre Sleiman, Encinitas, Calif.; Stacy Tollefson, Ph.D., Tucson, Ariz.; Jose Edgardo Torres, Sahuarita, Ariz.; Jessica Vaughan, Freedom, Calif.; Jeffry Evard, Plainfield, Ind.; Sam Welsch, Lincoln, Neb.; and Theresa Lam, East Brunswick, N.J.
The task force will report to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory committee of organic industry and stakeholder representatives who recommend whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling, assist in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production, and advise the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the organic regulations.
The task force will prepare a report for the NOSB about the current state of technologies and practices for hydroponics and aquaponics, as well as how those practices do or do not align with the USDA organic regulations. The NOSB will utilize the report to determine the best path forward regarding recommendations on hydroponics and aquaponics production systems.