From Field to Forum

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF, general organic, regulatory

To ensure that all CCOF-certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish new chapters. This fall, all certified members will have the opportunity to vote to amend CCOF’s membership bylaws accordingly. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws.   About the Amendments   The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters that include currently unrepresented...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a farm bill listening session in Modesto, California on August 5, 2017. Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson will gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   The farm bill is a crucial piece of legislation that affects millions of Americans. It is passed by Congress every five years and sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. It consists of 12 major sections or titles: commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, regulatory, standards

Farmers and ranchers in the San Diego region have until August 7, 2017, to enroll in the Agricultural Order, a set of monitoring and reporting requirements that regulates pollutant discharges from agricultural lands.    Each of California’s nine regional water quality control boards are at various stages of implementing an agricultural order. The San Diego Water Board adopted an Agricultural Order for the San Diego region in November 2016.   Growers can comply with the Agricultural Order by joining a third-party group, such as the San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group, or apply as an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic

Organic champion and CCOF Board of Directors chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards has been awarded the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award!   LaRocca is a pioneering organic wine grape grower and winemaker who uses innovative, environmentally friendly farming practices to produce wines with no added sulfites. He became the first certified organic apple grower in 1975 and then transitioned to wine and grape growing.      LaRocca has been active with CCOF since its inception and has spent the last 40 years advocating for organic farming. He is a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will host Farm Bill listening sessions in San Angelo, Texas on July 21, 2017 and in Morgan, Minnesota on August 3, 2017. The sessions will provide legislators insight that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   More information regarding the sessions will be available shortly. The sessions are often broadcasted on the House Committee on Agriculture website. Copies of witness testimonies will also be available.     Both the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture have hosted farm bill listening sessions across the country. The sessions give members of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, funding, general organic, policy, regulatory

Support continued funding of the National Organic Program (NOP) by using the Organic Trade Association’s portal to contact your representatives and convey the importance of continuing strong NOP oversight over organic certification.   CCOF highly encourages members and the organic community to contact their representatives and advocate on behalf of organic and importance of funding NOP.    The House Appropriations Committee could affect NOP funding in several ways. One interference tactic is to add rider bills to budget bills that would block funding. The Organic Livestock and Poultry...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on financial assistance, general organic

On Saturday, July 8, the Wall Fire burned the home, packing shed, coolers, and farm equipment of The Peach Jamboree (previously known as Woodleaf Farm, one of CCOF’s long-certified farms). Bought by young farmers Danny Lazzarini and Drew Seidman in 2016, Woodleaf Farm’s transition to the next generation has been hailed as a model for other retiring organic farmers. Read more about the farm’s succession story on Page 31 of CCOF’s Spring magazine.   To support these young organic farmers getting back on their feet, please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaign that was organized by their...
Written by Antonina Hines on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic, help and tips, regulatory

Many fertilizers and some herbicides and pesticides are labeled as “organic,” even though they aren’t allowed for use in organic production. These products are using the word “organic” as a chemist would, meaning they contain carbon compounds. The USDA only restricts the use of the word “organic” on food products, which allows companies to put whatever they choose on an input label as long as it is factual. This does not mean that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has approved these inputs for use in organic production.   Farmers and home gardeners may understandably be confused by this...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The deadline for nominations for individuals with environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds to fill an upcoming vacancy on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! Nominations must be submitted by August 7, 2017 and include a resume, an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before August 7, 2017. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls, review materials and/or recommend changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Laura Palmer is a returning student at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, studying environmental management/protection and sustainable agriculture. In 2015, she graduated from Cabrillo College with an Associate Degree in horticulture and crop production. Palmer has moved around a lot in her life, from metropolitan to rural areas and everything in-between. She began to see the real disconnect between food production and the consumer, and witnessed the toll that this disconnect and the pressure for profit in conventional agriculture can take on the environment and the people of both...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, July 10, 2017 on cost share, general organic

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is still open for 2017 applications, but only a few months remain to apply for funds. Through this program, eligible operations will be reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750, for each NOP scope of organic certification. Eligible operations can also receive a refund of California State Organic Program registration fees. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 may apply for reimbursement. The Cost Share...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

California Governor Jerry Brown authorized $10 million in funding in the 2017 budget to prevent the spread of the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB), a citrus-killing disease carried by the insect. ACP feeds on citrus plant leaves and stems, causing deformation and plant stunting. It is a known carrier of HLB. The insect and disease have causes over $7 billion in economic impact in Florida, and its arrival in California poses a major threat. While it has yet to spread to commercial citrus trees, approximately 375 trees have been removed in Kern County, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances.    The final rule is consistent with the 2015 recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

Both the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the United States House Committee on Agriculture have busy weeks with key farm bill hearings scheduled. On July 13, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will have a full committee hearing titled Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.   The hearing will be the first time organic agriculture will be highlighted in a 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The committee will announce witnesses shortly. A live-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The next California State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting will be held on July 11, 2017. The board is comprised of 15 members who represent agriculture, geographic regions, consumers, and faculty from both the University of California and California State University academic systems.    The meeting will be held at the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) offices, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 98415, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.   The agenda includes two presentations to the board and two panel discussions. The board information packet is available...

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