Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

The Carbon Farming Revolution will command front and center attention at the 38th EcoFarm Conference on January 24 through 27 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. Owing to unstable climates, carbon has been getting a bum rap of late, quite undeservedly so. Most of us farmers are unaware that carbon—and its management—is the most critical element in our farming systems, probably because we don’t purchase carbon in a sack like we do N-P-K. Were there a “most friendly atom” award, carbon should be its slam dunk winner. Though it could be different on some other planet...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, international

In May 2017, Phil LaRocca, chair of the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors, and Allen Harthorn, chair of the CCOF Foundation Board of Trustees, participated in the National Co+Op Grocers’ tour of a cooperatively managed fair trade vineyard in La Rioja, Argentina.    The La Riojana cooperative is working with the National Co+Op Grocers and the CCOF Foundation to help transition their grapes into organic production. LaRocca and Harthorn were brought to tour the facilities and meet with farmers and witness the project firsthand. In addition to making wine and olive oil, La Riojana also built and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA).    CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert.    Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their annual...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Water Board is accepting comment on a second draft of the agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed through Friday, December 22, 2017, at noon.    CCOF strongly encourages organic growers from all regions of California to comment because this order will likely be replicated throughout the state. The requirements in the order could have significant costs and impacts for all growers because they will be required to report a large amount of detailed information annually, including data on nitrogen applications and crop yields.   What Is an Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy

  Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) meets with farmer Leslie Cooperband, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition    Last week, farmers from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) first 2018 Farm Bill “fly-in”. NSAC’s farmer fly-ins provide farmers and farm/food advocates with the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers in Congress about the issues that most affect their lives, businesses, and communities. On November 8th, NSAC held our first of several fly-ins focused on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, regulatory

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released long-anticipated rules restricting pesticide applications close to public schools and daycare facilities.    The new rules require that pesticides using aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or applied as a dust, powder, or fumigant between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday be located at least ¼ mile from schools.    At least 25-foot distance is required when application is made via ground-rig sprayer, soil injection equipment, or other types of applications including drip or flood chemigation.    There are no...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, grower, handler, materials, NOSB, standards

CCOF submitted 11 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2017 NOSB meeting.   NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall, the meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from October 31 through November 2, 2017.   At the meeting in Jacksonville, the board will complete the 2019 Sunset Reviews on 43 substances listed on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will vote to relist the substances on the National List or...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, research

The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) released their 2017 agricultural labor availability survey results in a report titled Searching for Solutions: California Farmer Continue to Struggle with Employee Shortages. The report includes data from 762 farmers and ranchers throughout California and its findings are consistent with a 2012 CFBF labor survey.   The report shows that 55 percent of responding farmers experienced employee shortages during the summer of 2017. A majority of farmers reported that they were unable to recruit up to 50 percent of their seasonal workforce needs, with 15...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, events, general organic, research

Sensors that tell growers how much water to use, drones that can fly over operations and assess the health of crops, real-time data at the fingertips of farmers.   It’s not science fiction—it’s the future of agriculture.   In an attempt to streamline operations, increase sustainability, and improve climate resiliency, California farmers are embracing precision agriculture technology. Also known as “smart farming,” precision agriculture uses the latest technological innovations to produce more food while using less resources.   But California farmers are not the only ones adopting this...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in collaboration with California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and other state entities, are hosting a Public Forum on Managed Groundwater Recharge to Support Sustainable Water Management. This all-day event will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center on November 8, 2017, and will bring together a variety of speakers to address recharge opportunities and issues.   Get more information and register.     Groundwater recharge is an important topic for California as the state continues to recover from an historic drought that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic

The Organic Center will host a webinar titled How Does Organic Mitigate Climate Change? on October 26, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and also on November 29, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.    Registration for the webinar is now open.   Dr. Tracy Misiewicz, the associate director of science programs for the Organic Center, will present information relating to the Organic Center and the National Soil Project’s study on organic soil. The study shows that soil from organic farm soil is better at sequestering carbon than conventional farm soil. The webinar will provide scientific evidence that...

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