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Participate in the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Development Process PDF Print E-mail

organic agriculture pictureThere are many ways to participate in the development of the National Sustainable Agriculture Standard, ranging from serving on the Standards Committee and subcommittees to participating in the public comment and review process.

  • Apply for Standards Committee Membership
  • Join a Subcommittee
  • Register to be an Observer
  • Participate in the Public Review and Comment Process
  • Join the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Update List
  • Make a Donation to Support the Standard's Development

Donate Today to Support Sustainable Agriculture agriculture university donations

Leonardo Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks your tax-deductible contributions to fund the development of a Sustainable Agriculture Standard and to support active participation by as many stakeholders as possible.


Apply for Standards Committee Membership

The Sustainable Agriculture Standard development committee (Standards Committee) is charged with crafting an innovative standard that provides a clear, continuous improvement framework for advancing sustainable agriculture practices. A key element of the Committee work is to identify, deliberate and build consensus around the range of issues relevant to the standard and the standard development process, and to develop the criteria that will be included in the framework of the final standard.

Standards Committee Openings -- In the event that there are openings on the Standards Committee, Leonardo Academy will issue a public call for applications within the interest category where the vacancy occurs. When selecting new Committee members, both new applicants as well as applicants that were not appointed in earlier Committee member selection processes will be considered equally for the open seat(s). If you would like to receive announcements regarding Standards Committee openings, please join the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Email List by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Time Commitment for Committee Members -- Committee members can expect to invest 2-15 hours per month in the project, depending on their level of involvement. General Committee member activities include participating in in-person meetings and teleconferences, drafting and reviewing standard development documents, voting on standard content and other process issues, correspondence, and other relevant Committee business. Committee members who choose to participate in the subcommittee work or take on a leadership role (i.e., Committee Officer or Subcommittee Co-Chair) will invest a minimum of 5 hours per month.

Committee Meetings:  Frequency and Location -- Standards Committee meetings are held periodically, by conference call, webinar or in person. For in person meetings the goal is to select meeting locations that are conveniently accessible to the majority of Committee members. Remote access capabilities (i.e., teleconference and webinar) are arranged when possible for those unable to attend in person.

Download an Application (PDF): Standard Committee and Subcommittee Application


Join a Subcommittee

Leonardo Academy accepts applications for membership on the National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Subcommittees on an ongoing basis. The Subcommittees play a critical part in the standards development process by taking a direct role in exploring key issues, developing draft criteria and providing recommendations and guidance to the Standards Committee.

Participation -- Membership on the Subcommittees is open to all interested parties. There is no limit to the number of subcommittees an individual can join. In the event that the membership of a given subcommittee reaches the size where it proves difficult to be productive, the Subcommittee will be divided into Task Groups or Resource Groups where appropriate.

Time Commitment -- The time commitment of Subcommittee members will vary according to the range of issues explored by the Subcommittee(s) they are active in, as well as how involved the member chooses to be in the Subcommittee work. There may be periods of high work intensity within a given Subcommittee, which will taper off as the issues the Subcommittee is working on are resolved. On average, members can expect to devote 2 to 4 hours per month per Subcommittee. Those involved in Subcommittee writing groups can expect to devote up to 10 hours per month.

Meetings -- Subcommittee meetings will be held via teleconference, generally on a monthly basis. Subcommittee writing groups will convene regularly between Subcommittee meetings and will report back to the full Subcommittee on their progress during the monthly conference call.

Leadership -- Each Subcommittee is led by two Co-Chairs. One Co-Chair is elected by the Standards Committee from among the Committee membership, and the other Co-Chair is elected by the Subcommittee from among that Subcommittee's membership. 

Applying for the Subcommittees

The following subcommittees are open to membership by all interested parties:

  1. Criteria Development - Economic Sustainability
  2. Criteria Development - Social Sustainability
  3. Criteria Development - Environmental Sustainability
  4. Reference Library and Information
  5. Structure and Process of Standard Development
  6. Fundraising and Communications

Download an Application (PDF): Standard Committee and Subcommittee Application


Register to be an Observer

Observers are invited to attend the Standards Committee and Subcommittee meetings and conference calls for the Sustainable Agriculture Standard, subject to the provisions set forth in Leonardo Academy's Standard Development Observer Policy. Observers attending in-person Standards Committee and Subcommittee meetings will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to the availability of space or capacity. For meetings held by teleconference,there is no limit to the number of observers that can participate. If you are interested in obtaining observer status, please fill out an application and return to:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Download an Application (PDF): Observer Application


Participate in the Public Review and Comment Process

Once the Standards Committee reaches agreement on a draft of the sustainable agriculture standard, the draft will be posted for public comment by Leonardo Academy. The public review and comment process provides all stakeholders with an additional opportunity to participate in the standard development process. At the end of the public comment period, the Standards Committee will address all of the comments received prior to submitting the final standard to ANSI for approval as an American National Standard. If you would like to receive the announcement when the draft standard is completed and posted for public comment, please join the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . NOTE: Please keep your contact information up-to-date, as it may take several years for the Standards Committee to complete preparation of the draft standard.


Join the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Update List

Stay up-to-date on the Sustainable Agriculture Standard development process by joining the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Members of this list receive periodic updates on the standard’s development, including announcements of Committee meetings, important events and opportunities to participate.


Make a Donation to Support the Standard's Development

Leonardo Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is seeking tax-deductible contributions to fund the development of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and to support active participation by as many stakeholders as possible. Donations support the Sustainable Agriculture Standard in direct ways. Learn more.

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