A narrative draft of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard (LEO-4000) was prepared by the Leonardo Academy working group that met at the academy in Madison, Wis., on March 5-7, 2012. The draft standard was significantly refined during the intensive work sessions. The new draft is being finalized for review by the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Committee at its upcoming April meeting in Washington, D.C.

There remains extreme concern by the crop protection and fertilizer industries and conventional commodity farmers and their associations about this working group being dominated by ecologists and organic organizations.

Brian McElroy of Driscolls Strawberry Associates and Chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Committee said, "I am impressed with the volume of work that was completed by the participants at this event. Committee members have compiled substantial reference documentation and drafted a clear set of standards that identify metrics and define performance levels. While this draft is still technically up for review by the Standard Committee, the process is open to the public and anyone can start to review it. Anyone that is interested in what a U.S. national sustainable agriculture standard should address or require in the near future should join this process now."

April Standard Committee Meeting in Washington, DC
The Annual Sustainable Agriculture Standard Committee meeting will be held on April 24-25, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The national committee will convene to review and vote on the draft standard work. All stakeholders, process participants and newly interested persons are encouraged to attend all or part of this pivotal Standard Committee meeting as observers. Those who are not yet participants or registered observers of the LEO-4000 process and would like to attend the April meeting are encouraged to apply now by contacting jennifer@leonardoacademy.org.

Public Comment Process
When the committee approves the release of the draft standard for public comment, the public comment period will be announced in the American National Standards Institute publication Standards Action. After the public comment period is completed, the Standard Committee will review all comments and decide how to address each of the comments received. Once the Standard Committee has addressed all of the public comments, the draft standard will be submitted to ANSI for promulgation as an American National Standard. http://www.sustainableagstandard.org/