National Organic Program

Organic Hydroponic and Aquaponic Task Force Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has transmitted a report from the Hydroponic and Aquaponic Task Force to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

In September of 2015, the AMS National Organic Program appointed 16 members to the task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with the USDA organic regulations. The task force was charged with preparing a report to inform the NOSB as it determines the best path forward on hydroponic and aquaponic production systems.   

USDA Reminds Organic Importers of Requirements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) enforces the USDA organic regulations for domestic and imported organic agricultural products through the National Organic Program (NOP). To ensure that imported products maintain their organic integrity, U.S. importers are reminded that products cannot be fumigated with prohibited substances or treated with irradiation.  Importers are responsible for ensuring that treated product complies with the USDA organic regulations.

National Farmers Market Week 2016


National Farmers Market Week is celebrated across the country from August 7 through August 13, 2016. It's a time to celebrate the farmers, ranchers and local food producers as well as the communities that make them happen. In fact, Secretary Tom Vilsack officially declared August 7 through August 13, 2016, as the 17th annual National Farmers Market Week (pdf), highlighting how farmers markets play a key role in local and regional food systems and in sustaining family farms. 

Certification System Framework

This Sound and Sensible resource package includes a series of technical documents that provide a framework for developing an organic certification system. The package includes sample forms and data entry screens that can support the organic certification process; lists and definitions of data fields (called a data dictionary) that capture information about a certified organic operation; and relationship diagrams that should have the different data fields and forms connect.

Employee Resources

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offers an abundance of resources for new and current employees.

Our leadership team wants you to have the tools, skills, leadership, and motivation to reach your full potential in support of our Agency's mission. We actively promote open and direct communication in AMS, and have many opportunities for employees to provide ongoing feedback. We hope that you will use these opportunities to help make AMS a better place to work. 

Below are some helpful resources for employees at AMS:

USDA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule to Amend Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices

The U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period for the proposed rule to amend organic livestock and poultry practices until July 13, 2016, to allow stakeholders additional time to provide feedback on the proposed rule.
The rule published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2016, and the comment period was slated to close on June 13, 2016.  AMS received requests to both extend and not extend the comment period.

New Employee Handbook

We’ve created our first AMS Employee Handbook, your one-stop shop for employee information!  This document provides everything you need to know about AMS, all in one place.  It has a complete guide to AMS systems & applications, from e-Auth to web T&A to AgLearn.  It includes an appendix of online resource links, including forms, policies & more and provides detailed explanations of your pay & benefits—leave, insurance, retirement, transit.