Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The State Water Board postponed deliberation of its updated agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed to February 7, when it will consider adoption of the order.   Otherwise known as waste discharge requirements, agricultural orders regulate discharges from irrigated lands, such as sediments, pesticides, and nitrates. The Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed draft order was originally proposed in February 2016. In response to extensive public comment and formal petitions for review, the Water Board released a second draft order in October 2017 that was slated for...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, standards

The comment period on USDA’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP) ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on January 17, 2018.    Comment now to protect organic standards!   OLPP is the product of a lengthy rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities, and access to the outdoors.    However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA has...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy

One of the greatest challenges facing organic growers today is the uncertainty and severe shortages in the agricultural workforce. For this reason, CCOF is calling on California Congressional leadership to work toward immigration reform that includes the following guiding principles:  First and foremost, legislation should create a viable means for the current unauthorized, experienced agricultural workforce to legally work in U.S. agriculture.   Additionally, a guestworker program could also provide much needed support to help meet the current shortages in the agricultural workforce. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will hold five public licensing workshops in the first quarter of 2018. The workshops are free and open to the public and will provide resources and information regarding state commercial cannabis licensing.    Each workshop will include a brief overview and thorough information from BCC and other state and local agencies regarding cannabis licensing. The workshops will be scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   January 22, 2018 – Monterey   Monterey Conference Center 1 Portola Plaza Monterey, CA 93940   January 25, 2018 – Santa Ana  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal.    The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.   CalCannabis and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) host regular licensing workshops to assist members of the public with the application process. Applicants can also...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, water

In response to public concern about the use of recycled oilfield water (otherwise known as produced water) as an irrigation source in the Central Valley, the regional Water Board assembled a Food Safety Expert Panel in 2016 to assess the safety of crops grown using this source of water.    The Food Safety Expert Panel will meet January 24, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and concluding at 3:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Central Valley Water Board’s Board Room located at 11020 Sun Center Drive, Suite 200, in Rancho Cordova, California.   The public is invited to attend. Opportunity for...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity

California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will meet on January 18. The panel reviews and documents agriculture’s positive impacts to the environment and other agriculture issues.    The meeting will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:   California Farm Bureau Federation 2300 River Plaza Drive, Harvest Room Sacramento, CA 95833   The meeting will also be webcast online for those unable to attend the meeting in person.   The panel’s agenda includes updates on CDFA’s Healthy Soil Program and the State Water Efficiency and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events

California’s new Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18 in Sacramento for the first time in 2018. The committee was formed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to advise the licensing authorities on the development of standards and regulations regarding the best practices and guidelines to protect public health and safety. BCC announced its members last fall.    The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at:   Sacramento Convention Center, Rooms 307 - 310 1400  J Street Sacramento, CA 95814   Those who cannot attend the meeting in person will be able to tune in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.   Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.   The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions,...
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...

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