Our Policy Work


In coalition with other organizations, IOA monitors legislative activities on local, state and national levels, making recommendations for policies that promote such issues important to the Iowa organic community.

The following list of issue categories captures most of the concerns we have heard over the past few years and represents the IOA board's priority areas

  • Pesticide Drift
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Food Safety
  • Organic Marketing

There are many issues for us to be concerned about and we are working to prioritize our policy work on the issues most pressing for Iowa organic farmers, business, and consumer members. 

Iowa Organic Association Opposes the Organic Checkoff

In March 2017, the Iowa Organic Association board asked the IOA membership whether they opposed or supported the proposed Organic Checkoff-- a federally mandated multi-commodity checkoff program that will affect all certified organic entities.  

Based on the majority position of IOA members, the IOA board voted unanimously to OPPOSE the organic checkoff at their April 2017 meeting.  In order to come to this decision, the board surveyed the membership of Iowa organic farmers, organic processors, agriculture service providers and consumers.   Of those who responded to the survey, 65% were certified organic farmers and 15% were certified organic processors.  Agriculture Service Providers (researchers, educators, government employees, and agriculture supply providers) and Consumers also responded at 10% each.  80% of IOA members, representing the Iowa organic community oppose the proposed organic checkoff.    

IOA opposes the checkoff because:

  • it does not sufficiently address organic farmers’ research needs, 
  • farmers cannot opt out of the program, 
  • it is divisive between the people who market and those who produce organic products, 
  • Iowa checkoff dollars cannot return to support Iowa farmers, 
  • the assessment is cumbersome and burdensome, and 
  • not all certified organic entities will be allowed to vote in the initial referendum—even though they all will be required to participate in the checkoff annually by submitting their gross annual sales data to USDA.  

To read IOA's full comments submitted to the USDA docket #AMS-SC-16-0112 click here



Share your Policy Position with IOA on these current issues for organic farmers, gardeners, and consumers.  Your individual input will remain confidential:

 Pesticide Drift  (Iowa)





Fill out a short 2 minute survey to share your position on stronger pesticide drift regulations in Iowa.   

To read more about the proposed legislation, visit these information websites at Iowa Farmers Union and Pesticide Action Network.