Blog posts by advocacy

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...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The bill to create the California Beef Commission, AB 243, will be discussed at the next Judiciary Committee hearing on July 11, 2017.   CCOF does not have a position on AB 243 but will continue to track AB 243’s progress through the senate, as the creation of the California Beef Commission would affect members.   Supporters of AB 243 state that Californian cattle producers are interested in increasing the mandatory assessments on the sale of cattle but want to ensure that any increase in fees benefit California and Californian producers. Funds collected through the proposed check-off program...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy, standards

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has released 30 questions for input from the public regarding GMO labeling (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard). CCOF plans to respond to the proposed questions and encourages its members to also provide input to USDA. Submit responses to GMOlabeling@asm.usda.gov by July 17, 2017.   USDA is seeking input for a proposed rule on GMO labeling to fulfill its congressional mandate to implement a mandatory GMO labeling standard. The proposed rule is expected to be released for public comment in late fall or early winter. For more background, visit...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 19, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

USDA is accepting nominations for the environmental seat on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Eligible candidates must have environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds. The deadline to submit nominations is August 7, 2017.   Nominations must 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, which includes having a general understanding of organic principles, practical experience in the organic community, demonstrated experience in the development of public policy,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 19, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The Farmer Equity Act of 2017 (AB 1348) passed out of the California Assembly and moved into the Senate on May 31, 2017. The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), would require the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to ensure the inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in its policies and programs. CCOF supports the bill.    AB 1348 codifies the definition of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and requires CDFA to provide support for members of socially disadvantaged communities. The bill defines socially disadvantaged...
Written by Meredith Kaufman on Monday, June 19, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The House Agriculture Committee will hold its first of several listening sessions regarding the 2018 Farm Bill in a series titled “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field” in Gainesville, Florida on June 24, 2017. The series is intended to spark discussion among the committee and agricultural stakeholders regarding current programs in the farm bill.   “I’m looking forward to these events to help us get a better idea of how these programs are actually working, which will be beneficial as we look to potential changes in the next bill,” said Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-7).  Issues...
Written by Meredith Kaufman on Monday, June 12, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will be hosting a full committee hearing titled “Agricultural Research: Perspectives on Past and Future Successes for the 2018 Farm Bill” on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. EST.     Research is a critical farm bill topic for organic farmers and ranchers who face unique production challenges. Public institutions like land grant universities rely on federal funds allocated in the farm bill to develop new production methods, inputs, pest controls, and weed management tools that are also compliant with national...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 12, 2017 on advocacy, international, policy

As California farmers and ranchers, our livelihoods—as well as the ability to feed America—depends entirely on the climate. Working close to nature, we are the first to notice shifts in weather patterns. On our land and in our harvests, we bear the brunt of floods, drought, and rising temperatures.   We are soil stewards who belong to a community beyond our own fields; we don’t plant for seasons but for generations. It’s with this legacy in mind that we pledge our support for the science, commitment, and goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.   We vow to continually improve our own on...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, policy

We need your support in urging USDA to implement the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. USDA has twice delayed its implementation date and is now asking for comments on whether it should retract the rule altogether. Submit your comment today urging full implementation of the OLPP! CCOF strongly supports the rule because it requires high animal welfare standards, including sufficient outdoor access for poultry. The rule would make the standards that CCOF has always required of its certified operations applicable to all USDA organic producers. USDA is accepting public comment...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) is an invasive exotic leafroller that feeds on a wide range of host crops in California. This year, it seems that heavy spring rains kept growers on the Central Coast from taking usual steps to control LBAM and, as a result, many LBAM larvae have hatched and higher than normal numbers of LBAM have been found, particularly in strawberries. LBAM Quarantines Although it does not pose a major threat to most crops, the state of California has gone to great lengths to prevent accidental shipment of LBAM to areas where it isn’t established. Places where LBAM has...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, policy

Legislators in Sacramento are currently debating three different bills which would extend and alter the California Cap-and-Trade Program. The cap-and-trade program is administrated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The program requires the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions (energy producers, processing plants, etc.) to reduce their emissions over time. It also sets up the California Carbon Market, where greenhouse gas emission permits are bought and traded. The auctioning of the permits generates funding for climate change programs. More information on the program can...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators are debating the future of climate policy in California, and they need to hear from you about agriculture’s important role. Will you let them know that you support ongoing funding for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs? These programs provide grants to farmers for practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.  A vote on the budget will happen in the next two weeks—now is the time to make a difference. Call your state representatives to support climate-friendly farming solutions. Phone calls are much more impactful...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

On May 26, 2017 Governor Brown signed California SB243: Citrus Disease Prevention into law. California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani of California District 5 (encompassing all of San Joaquin County and portions of Stanislaus and Sacramento Counties) introduced SB243 in early February and the bill quickly moved through the legislature. SB243 appropriates over $9 million from the Citrus Disease Management Account to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for expenses necessary for the prevention and management of citrus disease. Previous bills established the California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) held its annual Organic Week in Washington D.C. last month. Each year, the week includes events including the Organic Center’s Organic Confluences summit and OTA’s Policy Conference and Advocacy Day. CCOF member Dieter Schellenberg of Schellenberg Farms and other CCOF-certified producers attended Organic Week this year to share their organic farmer-perspective with their elected representatives.   At the conference, OTA released the results of their latest Organic Industry Survey. In 2016, the organic sector continued its upward climb. Organic sales in the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 22, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will be hosting a full committee hearing titled “Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America” on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. EST.   The hearing comes hot on the heels of USDA Secretary Perdue’s announcement of the proposed reorganization of the USDA Rural Development agencies by eliminating rural development as a core mission area. USDA’s Rural Development agencies include business cooperative services; utilities services such as water, waste, electric, and telecommunications; housing services;...

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