Nash’s Organic Produce is Certified Producer #470 by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and our farm is inspected annually. We also have an egg handlers license, pork sales permit, and a WSDA certified organic flour milling room.
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 required the development of coherent national organic standards. Previous standards were regional or state-by-state. In 1997, the USDA released a draft of regulations which allowed the use of genetically modified crops, sewage sludge, antibiotics, slaughter by-products and irradiation in organic production. The public outcry was such (over 300,000 public comments—a national record) that the proposal was withdrawn.
However, in 2002 the US food industry won a set of organic standards which basically favors the industrialization of organic. The US organic standards are ‘scale neutral.’ There is nothing in the standards that legally limits “organic” farmers from operating dairies with thousands of cows, feedlots with thousands of beef cattle or growing monocultures of vegetables on thousands of acres. Even some food additives and preservatives are allowed in some “organic” processed foods.
On the other hand, to meet the Washing State Department of Agriculture standards organic crops must be produced without conventional pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organically-raised animals must be given organic feed and be growth-hormone- and antibiotic-free. Organic farm animals must also have access to the outdoors, including pastureland for grazing. Nash’s Organic Produce is proud to be WSDA certified organic, and Nash has been a certified producer since the beginning of the WSDA’s program, which was one of the first in the nation.
The farm also actively participates in the organic certification political arena by attending National Organic Standards board meetings; contributing to local, state and federal sustainable agriculture policy issues, and networking with nonprofits such as the Tilth Producers of Washington, the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network (WSFFN); and the Cascade Harvest Coalition.
Nash’s Organic Produce believes that being organic is more than just standards and inspections. It is about health, community and land. We follow the spirit of the organic movement, not just the letter of the law because we are determined to create an agricultural enterprise that is not only organic, but sustainable long into the future.