York County farmer Amy Bruch has been appointed to the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). She is the first Nebraskan to serve on the board, whose members are appointed by United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue.
Bruch is president of Cyclone Farms, an organic row crop operation based in York County. “This is a voice I’m not aware has been fully represented on this panel,” Bruch said of Cyclone Farm’s crops. “I’m really humbled and honored to be a part of the board.”
The NOSB is critical in protecting the integrity of the USDA Certified Organic seal. “The National Organic Standards Board plays an integral role in making recommendations that affect policies outlined in the organic regulations that affects the entire organic sector,” Bruch said. “The goal of the board is to provide legitimate recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture.” The NOSB is made up of 15 volunteer members representing different facets of the organic community, and broken up into subcommittees.
“The organic industry seems like a niche, but the organic sector in the USA is a $55 billion industry -- food and non-food -- that is growing 5% a year,” Bruch explained, adding: “Things that are not directly related to agriculture impacts ag, whether it’s COVID or the China [issues].”
Bruch has contributed to organic production through agricultural business management, regulatory compliance, operational improvements, and aiding farms transitioning to new crops and to organic production. Some of these entities are located in Nebraska, which is home to about 160 operations. “There’s a few of us – we’re just not next door to each other,” Bruch said.
Cyclone Farms has collaborated with the University of Nebraska testing proto-types, as well as farmers around the world. Bruch said part of Cyclone Farms’ philosophy is to “develop close relationships with our customers as most of the products we grow are food grade.”
Bruch holds a B.S. in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering from Iowa State University. She has a background and expertise in certification, compliance, crops and National List materials.
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