Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 3, 2021 on advocacy, policy


Jenny Lester Moffitt and Russ Lester

Longtime farmer advocate and state administrator with deep roots in the organic community Jenny Lester Moffitt has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.Moffitt has served the agricultural community in California for the past seven years as undersecretary and deputy secretary in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of her numerous accomplishments as undersecretary was ensuring that CDFA’s annual Agricultural Statistics Review includes data on organic production in the state...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 3, 2021 on advocacy, policy


Groundcover

Last week, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), which outlines a national roadmap for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. agriculture by the year 2040. This act is a farmer-focused, research-driven path that highlights the ways that food production and agriculture are strong solutions to climate change when properly funded and supported. To learn more, read the press release and the bill text. This legislation was co-sponsored by 17 representatives, including Barragán (CA-44), Brownley (CA-26...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 26, 2021 on advocacy, grower, policy, regulatory, water


Central Coast

After three years of public hearings, numerous revisions, and intense deliberations, on April 15, 2021, the Central Coast Water Quality Control Board approved a new agricultural order regulating discharges from irrigated lands.The new regulations in Ag Order 4.0 are likely to go too far for many farmers and not far enough for environmental justice advocates, who point to nitrate contamination in regional drinking water wells as an ongoing problem that is not being addressed, even through tighter regulations on agriculture.One key change is that, in addition to reporting total nitrogen (N)...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, April 19, 2021 on advocacy, livestock


Cattle

CCOF recently launched our “Meat Matters” Campaign with the goal of expanding meat processing capacity in California and advancing organic livestock production as a solution to California’s toughest challenges.We started by asking: Why should California support ranching? Here are just five reasons why we need ranchers more than ever:Ranchers, and the lands they steward, provide essential products like food and fiber for everyone.Ranching is the economic backbone of many rural communities across the state.Consumers are buying more organic and grassfed meat because they value a sustainable...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 19, 2021 on advocacy, policy

On Thursday, April 15, CCOF­–co-sponsored AB-125 passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee with a bipartisan 10–0 vote, moving on to the Natural Resources Committee. The “Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act of 2022,” which would invest $3.302 billion across the food and agriculture system over five years, would constitute the largest state investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. The bill includes funding for organic transition support, technical assistance, and education. It would also boost the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021 on advocacy, policy

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 1, 2021 on advocacy, livestock, policy


In today’s world, pet goats participate in yoga classes, apartment building walls bear signs advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs,” and the consumer appetite for organic meat and dairy is skyrocketing. Despite this popular sentiment, a lack of investment in regional meat supply chains threatens the future of regional, organic, and regenerative ranching.California’s farmers and their four-legged flocks face severe and longstanding bottlenecks in the final steps along the meat supply chain from ranch to roast: slaughter, cut and wrap, and value-added processing. In the last 50 years, California has...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on advocacy, food safety, grower

When it comes to U.S. agriculture regulations, one size does not fit all. That was the message that Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and thousands of family farmers delivered ten years ago when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began hashing out the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Had it not been for that advocacy, FSMA would likely have regulated small family farms the same way it regulates larger corporate growers, and would have buried small farms beneath paperwork.FDA needs to hear the message again. Speak up by February 22!The FDA is again proposing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 1, 2021 on advocacy, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be holding stakeholder meetings in February to solicit feedback from the public and agricultural stakeholders on farmer- and rancher-led climate solutions that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance biodiversity.“These outreach meetings are essential to ensure we gain information and knowledge from the people who live and work on the land and the organizations that support them,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We want to hear from all those interested in discussing farmer- and rancher-led efforts to help ensure...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, January 25, 2021 on advocacy, policy


CCOF Goals

It’s the start of a new year, and CCOF has set a bold, new goal for organic: Thirty percent of California’s farmland will be organic by 2030. We know it will take hard work to get there, but that’s nothing new for organic farmers. Here’s the plan for moving forward in 2021.Expand Opportunities for Small Organic RanchersIn partnership with ranchers, policymakers, and farm and environmental groups, CCOF is working to create economic opportunities for small organic ranches. Expanding on-farm slaughter options for small ranches raising goats, sheep, and swine will strengthen these businesses and...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

CCOF partner, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), is requesting farmer feedback on two initiatives:Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsJustice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Organic Community CCOF supports OTA’s effort to prioritize these initiatives in 2021 and encourages our members to fill out the associated surveys, described in detail below, by the November 30 deadline.  Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsChickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination are some of the requirements that...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 on advocacy, financial assistance, general organic

California state legislative leaders and California Governor Gavin Newsom are considering how the state can assist communities in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. As these conversations get underway, it is essential to promote food and agriculture as solutions to economic recovery. One of the ways the state can easily invest in California agriculture is through CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program. The program has been increasingly popular with the state’s farmers and ranchers, including organic farmers and ranchers. The Healthy Soils Program turns farm-based climate solutions into rural...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, cost share, general organic, policy

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that they are reducing reimbursement rates for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Congress set the current reimbursement rates in the 2018 Farm Bill at 75 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $750 per scope. FSA plans to lower the rate to 50 percent of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. This reduction comes in the middle of a global crisis, at a time when it is critical to support our organic farms as essential to our recovery. Take action to save the Organic Certification...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, policy

Numerous scientific studies show that organic farming improves soil health and builds soil organic matter, which sequesters carbon in the soil and helps mitigate climate change.  This makes organic farming a good match for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program, which offers three-year grants to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that build soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  CCOF has been working since last year to gain approval from CDFA to add an Organic Transition Option to the Healthy Soils...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, policy

Dear CCOF Members and Supporters, Each summer, we write to you to tell you about all the things you’ve helped CCOF accomplish in the previous year. As we sit down now to reflect on 2019—in the middle of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic—it almost feels like another lifetime ago with how much the world has changed in such a short time. But what we learned and achieved in 2019 can help us chart the path forward. We can’t know what healing and renewal for the world will look like after this crisis ends. But what I do know is that CCOF members will be there every step of the way to feed, nourish...

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