A Bounty of Spring Chapter Meetings and Elections

Spring is a time of year that brings the joy of life to the forefront for all of us who work in agriculture. The CCOF Chapters have been buzzing with spring activity over the last month and two chapters conducted elections. 
On April 6, the Pacific Southwest Chapter held a meeting in Escondido. Eric Larson, executive of the San Diego Farm Bureau, gave a presentation on important issues facing the farming community, such as the regional Water Board Agricultural Order and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, as well as issues concerning labor and immigrant worker rights. The chapter also held sign-ups for an Organic Symposium (planned for September) planning committee and a government affairs committee, both subgroups arranged through the chapter. CCOF Senior Policy Specialist Jane Sooby presented CCOF’s 2018 Farm Bill priorities. 
On April 17, the Central Coast Chapter held a meeting at the beautiful Aromas Grange. Karen Mallory, an immigration and naturalization attorney, addressed concerns and presented information about ways to support the immigration rights of farmworkers and families. A rich discussion was held about the regional Water Board Agricultural Order. Chapter leadership is looking for ways for organic farmers to certify that they already meet most requirements of the order. Leaders are also investigating whether it’s possible to pool together resources through the chapter system to alleviate the extra time and paperwork necessary to comply with the order. 
The Sierra Gold Chapter met in Placerville on April 23. Among the attendees were an enthusiastic group of long-time CCOF members and fresh faces and supporters. Chapter members were very excited to embrace the potential of the CCOF website, especially the online directory. They decided to use the CCOF website for communicating chapter news and events (rather than host their own website) and focus their energy on other endeavors instead, like hosting more chapter functions. Congratulations to the newly elected Sierra Gold Chapter board representative, Rich Ferreira of Side Hill Citrus, and re-elected leaders Randy Hansen (president), Michal Lawrence (secretary), and Craig Thomas (treasurer). 
Yolo Chapter held a meeting in Winters on April 19 with guest speakers from the local Resource Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation District, and Point Blue presenting and discussing the different ways in which these organizations can help farmers with both technical and financial assistance. Congratulations to Ryan N. Warren of Four Point Farms who is the newly elected Yolo chapter president, and to re-elected chapter leaders, Susan Hassett (secretary), Ed Sills (treasurer), and Thaddeus Barsotti (board representative). 
While many of these recent chapter meetings centered on discussions around policy issues involving organic, the most contentious current topic among chapter members in their meetings is how to treat and label non-soil grown food, including all realms of bioponics, aeroponics, hydroponics, and aquaponics. 
Want to get more involved with your chapter? Find your chapter, chapter contacts, and future chapter events, and we’ll see you there!