The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on June 21 the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Tucker as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), part of the Marketing and Regulatory Programs mission area.
“Dr. Tucker’s work to strengthen enforcement and improve customer service has already earned her the respect and trust of the program’s many diverse stakeholders,” said AMS Administrator Bruce Summers. “Under her leadership as Deputy Administrator, I am confident that this trusted program will continue to meet the evolving needs of farmers, businesses and American consumers in this rapidly growing agricultural sector.”
Dr. Tucker has served as Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program since 2011. Before joining USDA, she served as a group facilitator and organization development consultant, working primarily with scientific and technical government and non-profit organizations. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, an M.S. in Management from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.
NOP is a regulatory program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service that develops and enforces national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. These standards assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards for production and distribution. The growth and continuing demand for organic products can be attributed to the strength of the organic standards and trust in the organic industry and seal. Organic products are now found in the majority of U.S. households with Americans spending nearly $50 billion in organic purchases annually. In 2017, certified organic operations grew seven percent in the United States (26,400 operations) and 11-percent across the globe (41,000 operations).