Blog posts by advocacy

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 16, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, help and tips

Free organic grower guides offer information on specialty crop production for small- and medium-scale growers     A new series of technical guides developed at UC Santa Cruz targets small- and medium-scale organic specialty crop growers with the production information they need to be successful.   The 4- to 12-page guides developed by UCSC’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) address high-value vegetable and cut flower crops grown by many small- and medium-scale farmers. The guides outline basic techniques for tillage, planting, irrigation, weed control, harvesting...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 16, 2017 on advocacy, general organic

Since passage of the California Organic Food and Farming Act in 2016, the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) has new responsibilities to support organic agriculture through education and outreach. COPAC’s traditional role, to oversee the State Organic Program and advise the Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic issues, continues.   The CCOF Policy Team is working to fully seat COPAC and encourages you to consider applying. COPAC has 15 primary members plus an alternate for each seat. Currently, there are one primary and eight alternate seats open on COPAC.   Being a...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 9, 2017 on advocacy, grower, standards

A bill just signed by California Governor Jerry Brown extended the deadline for cannabis growers to file documentation of their water source to October 31, 2017.    The new deadlines are specific to growers who plan to submit their growing license application to CalCannabis before January 1, 2019.   According to a message from the State Water Resources Control Board:   If you currently have a Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR), Permit, License, or plan on filing for an SIUR, the statutory deadlines below do not apply to you, but you will need to include appropriate documentation of your...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, regulatory, standards

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Jacksonville are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. The votes and discussions in Jacksonville will impact future organic standards and substances allowed in organic production.   In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the fall meeting:   Crop scope...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, funding

Sustainable Ag Priorities Included in Bond Measure   In the waning days of the California legislative session, the state legislature passed budget bills AB 109 and AB 134 to allocate $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade funding for fiscal year 2017-18. To the dismay of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) and a wide network of partners, the deal cut funding for the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). This is a huge setback for these trailblazing programs.   The Healthy Soils Program funds incentives and demonstration projects for...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, research, standards

On Monday, over 20 CCOF members throughout Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s (R CA-01) district signed a letter urging the congressman to support H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017.    The letter explains that organic farmers and ranchers work hard to produce their crops, livestock, and food products, but their sector needs more funding for organic agricultural research.    The Organic Agriculture Research Act will increase annual organic research funds in the farm bill up to $50 million. These funds will ensure that researchers have ongoing support for their organic research...

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