A new organic policy adviser is in place for the upcoming fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board, which is set for Oct. 29-30 in Louisville, Ky.
Besty Rakola replaces Mark Lipson, effective Sept. 30, in the organic policy adviser post, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lipson was the USDA’s first organic policy adviser, serving four years. He has returned to work his farm, the release said.
Lipson was instrumental in development and implementation of the agency’s Organic Literacy Initiative, according to the release. The initiative trains USDA employees so they can better serve current and transitioning organic producers.
As organic policy advisor, Rakola will also lead the USDA’s agency-wide Organic Working Group where she will work with other agency staff to carry out Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s directive that the entire USDA support organic agriculture.
Rakola has most recently been an accreditation manager for the National Organic Program. Before that she was the manager of the USDA’s organic cost share program. She is scheduled to participate in the National Organic Standards Board fall meeting.
Details about the meeting agenda and how to file written comments or address the board in person are available on the Web at http://tinyurl.com/NOPfall2014. The deadline for written comments is Oct. 7.
The board, which advises the NOP, will address several petitions about changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, complete the review of 2015 sunset substances, and start the review of 2016 substances, according to the agenda.
The specific dates and location of the spring 2015 board meeting have not been set, but it is tentatively scheduled in La Jolla, Calif., during April.