Blog posts by policy

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 20, 2015 on CalCAN, policy

CalCAN is excited to announce our leadership in a newly introduced state bill called the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, or Senate Bill 367. The bill was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Yolo County), and is co-sponsored by CalCAN and our coalition partner, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). SB 367 promotes ‘climate-friendly’ agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. It creates a new statewide competitive grant program, to be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, that would receive $50 million in cap-and-...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 20, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy

The spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, California. All CCOF members are encouraged to attend! This biannual meeting impacts what materials are allowed for use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting such as from sulfur and copper materials used in crop production, aspirin and iodine used in livestock production, and flavor and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 13, 2015 on CalCAN, events, policy

The 4th Climate & Agriculture Summit at UC Davis was, by all accounts, CalCAN’s most successful Summit yet. The daylong gathering on March 25 brought together 320 participants, including 65 farmers and ranchers from across California. Our 60+ speakers, panelists, moderators and poster presenters were uniformly excellent, demonstrating the amazing diversity and expertise of CalCAN’s partners and friends. Overall, the 4th CalCAN Summit was a testament to how far we have collectively come in our work to unleash agricultural solutions to climate change—and an important reminder of the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on policy

UC Berkeley researchers need farmers for a study on diversified farming systems in California’s Central Coast. The project will look at how agricultural practices on organic farms affect the diversity of life found on those farms, with an emphasis on birds and pollinators. The study needs farmer participants who grow organic strawberries on two acres or more of land in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Prunedale and Salinas. Benefits of cooperating on the project include:  Access to research results about your own farm and all participating farms collectively (with complete anonymity) that can inform...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 30, 2015 on NOSB, policy

The April 7, 2015 deadline to submit comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is fast approaching! At the end of April, the NOSB will meet in La Jolla, California to review organic materials and standards. During this meeting they will review a substantial amount of materials, including copper and sulfur products for use in crop production, and gums and pectin for processing. Your operation may be affected! There are two simple things you can do to help protect the integrity of organic standards: 1) Complete OTA’s Online Surveys CCOF is working closely with the Organic Trade...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on genetic engineering, policy

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on a set of proposed activities to reduce the impacts of the unintended presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in organic and other non-GM crops. One of the activities is the federal organic farmer survey currently circulating, which is gathering information on economic losses experienced by organic farmers due to the presence of GM material in their crops. The timeline for comment is quite short; they are due April 10, 2015. To submit a comment, visit regulations.gov and click on the “Comment Now!” button. The proposed...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on certification process, policy

Certification cost share is a program that reimburses organic operations 75% of eligible certification-related costs up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope. Certification cost share is now open in the state of California and will be in other states soon. CCOF is preparing helpful instruction documents and tools to help you navigate the cost share forms. Look for them by May 1! Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share distributes federal funds through state departments of agriculture. Click...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 16, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced its draft agenda for the spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to be held in La Jolla, California at the end of April. That means it’s that time of year again! Time for you to share your story and help determine the path of organic agriculture. Prior to the meeting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites the public to comment on what should be included and excluded in the organic standards. The NOSB—a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 2, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until March 13 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on advocacy, CCOF, events, policy


Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy. The dedication and diversity among Policy Day participants was truly inspirational. The list of advocates included some of our longest certified members, new and beginning farmers, interested consumers, and people involved in food and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until February 27 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 9, 2015 on policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through February 17, 2015. The Proposed Exemption The proposed rule includes significant expansions to the organic exemption from federal check-off programs. It allows split operations, e.g. operations with both organic and conventional production, to seek exemptions. It also expands the exemption to both the 100% organic label and to the primary organic label (95% organic)....
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 9, 2015 on biodiversity, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a draft guidance to clarify biodiversity and natural resources requirements. The Draft Guidance, “Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations,” is open for comment now through February 27, 2015. The National Organic Standards require that certified organic operations “maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.” They define natural resources as the “physical, hydrological, and biological features of a production operation, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 2, 2015 on policy

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 19, 2015 on policy


CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...

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