Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Play a role in developing sustainable groundwater use rules by participating in your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The group Salinas Valley Groundwater is holding a stakeholder forum on Monday, November 14, to develop recommendations on the structure of this new agency, which will develop and implement plans to sustainably manage groundwater. California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 that requires the state, for the first time, to regulate groundwater use. The Groundwater Sustainability Agencies will develop groundwater management plans for their...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 11 comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in advance of the board’s November meeting. The comments address a range of NOSB agenda items, from materials slated for sunset in 2018 to hydroponic organic production. Click on the links below for CCOF’s comments. All of the comments submitted to the NOSB can be read online. The NOSB is a federal advisory board to the National Organic Program. It convenes formal meetings twice annually to discuss materials scheduled for sunset off the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and other organic issues. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The national Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of national legislation for the agricultural sector. The Farm Bill provides funding for an array of programs that serve farmers and ranchers. It comes up for renewal by the United States Congress every five years. To prepare for the next Farm Bill, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in a Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill. The brief survey addresses production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, October 21, 2016 on advocacy, funding, policy

Two grantmaking programs that fund organic work are now open for proposals. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is accepting research proposals. OFRF is currently accepting research proposals from applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 10, 2016. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in early spring 2017. OFRF offers funding for research on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 17, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting agenda and supporting materials are available for review and public comment.  The NOSB will meet in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18, 2016. Written comments and signups for oral comment are due October 26.  The NOSB will discuss and vote on many important topics, including:  Crop materials scheduled for sunset in 2018, including copper sulfate, calcium chloride, and peracetic acid Bioponics (hydroponics and aquaponics) and container-based production  Strengthening guidance on organic seed and planting stock  Handling materials...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 3, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will discuss and vote on recommendations concerning organic production at its upcoming meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18, 2016. We encourage you to review the meeting agenda and supporting materials and submit a comment on issues impacting your operation. Meeting Topics and Materials The NOSB will discuss and vote on many important topics, including: Hydroponic/aquaponic/bioponic/aeroponic and container-based production Crop materials scheduled for sunset in 2018 including: Copper sulfate Calcium chloride Peracetic acid...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

On Wednesday, September 21, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826–the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA)–into law! COFFA was sponsored by CCOF and authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone to streamline State Organic Program registration for thousands of organic farmers throughout California. The unwavering support of CCOF members helped COFFA sail through the California State Assembly and Senate with unanimous support in favor. Passage of COFFA will: Eliminate duplicative paperwork for certified organic farmers by allowing accredited certifying agents like CCOF to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, seeds

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse. Bayer recently announced that it reached a merger agreement with Monsanto, which will create the world's largest supplier in seeds and agricultural chemicals. DuPont and Dow, and ChemChina and Syngenta, have also announced agreements to merge. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) allows these three mega-mergers to move forward, three corporations will sell nearly 60% of the world's seed. This level of concentration will have grave impacts on U.S. agriculture, including organic. We know that consolidation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in OTA’s Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Major topics that are addressed in the survey include production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension barriers; and past Farm Bill evaluation. Each survey is confidential and contains questions specifically focused on producers and handlers. OTA will use this information to help shape its policy priorities for the next Farm Bill. For more information, contact OTA’s Joe Brady...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 19, 2016 on advocacy, general organic, policy

New statistics released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) show that the total value of certified organic agricultural products sold in the United States increased from $5.5 billion in 2014 to $6.2 billion in 2015, a 13 percent increase. The number of certified organic farms and organic acreage also increased between 2014-2015. Once more, California is the top state for organic agricultural production, with $2.4 billion in sales (40% of the total) in 2015. Washington state is a distant second with $626 million. California also has the largest number of certified organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 19, 2016 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, policy


The third edition of the Bagrada Bug News is now available to read and print on demand. This edition reports on work being conducted in California and France to test promising natural enemies of bagrada bug. Scientists collected three species of wasps that lay their eggs in bagrada bug eggs, thus killing the nymphs inside, in South Africa and Pakistan and are now assessing their potential for release as natural predators of bagrada bug in California. This issue also features a lengthy article on the role of weeds as refuge for bagrada bug in California’s Salinas Valley. Shortpod mustard and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 19, 2016 on advocacy, policy, seeds

Vague language in last year’s revision of the California Seed Law was clarified by legislation that exempts non-commercial seed trading–such as seed libraries, seed swaps, and other seed exchanges–from state permit and labeling requirements for commercial seed. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Seed Exchange Democracy Act into law on September 9, 2016. Introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County), the bill was a response to alarms raised by activists that the imprecise language in California’s seed law could unintentionally impede the free exchange of seed at...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, September 2, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) will meet this Wednesday, September 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Sacramento, California. COPAC advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic-related issues. The public is welcome to attend. Items on the meeting agenda include: An update on the state’s pilot GMO testing program A legislative update on the California Organic Food and Farming Act An Organic Input Materials Program update Animal welfare standards and the California State Veterinarian comments on them An update on the organic checkoff program The...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 29, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Farmers and ranchers in California must submit water test results and develop nutrient management plans for their landholdings under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. How California Regulates Water Quality in Relation to Irrigated Lands California’s nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) manage water quality on a regional basis. RWQCB responsibilities include regulating all pollutant discharges that may impact surface or ground water quality. In 2003, California created the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program to address wastes discharged from agricultural irrigated lands,...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 29, 2016 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

AB 1066, the Phase-in Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016, is a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that would set new overtime pay requirements for California farm workers. The bill is sponsored by United Farm Workers (UFW), which argues that farm workers are unfairly excluded from federal wage protections and maximum hour standards. According to bill supporters, farm workers do not receive fair pay and yet have one of the most physically demanding occupations. Many agricultural groups oppose the bill, including the California Farm Bureau Federation and the...

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