Members of Congress Dan Newhouse (R-Wash), and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), were named by the Organic Trade Association as the Organic Champion Award recipients as a “bipartisan powerhouse for advancing organic,” during a ceremony May 21. ( Courtesy Organic Trade Association )

The Organic Trade Association has named two members of Congress — Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) — as the group’s Organic Champion Award recipients.

They received the awards May 21, during the Organic Trade Association’s annual Organic Week activities in Washington, D.C.

In presenting the awards to the members of Congress, Organic Trade Association CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha praised them for being a “bipartisan powerhouse for advancing organic,” according to a news release.

The award honors people who have been supportive of organic agriculture and trade according to the release. Newhouse and Pingree collaborated on advancing organic programs in the farm bill and annual appropriations legislation that funds the National Organic Program, and organic transitions research program.

Both are farmers, and Pingree has been an organic farmer for more than 40 years, according to the release. They are co-chairman/chairwoman of the House Organic Caucus and both serve on the Appropriations Committee, according to the release.

"Washington's organic agriculture greatly contributes to the economies of both our state and our nation,” Newhouse said, according to the release. “I am proud to have a partner in Chellie who understands the importance of strong, bipartisan support for one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture."

Pingree said her experiences influence her policy views.

“I see it as my job to advocate for policies that support promising market opportunities for farmers, including in the organic sector,” she said in the release.