Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 20, 2017 on CalCAN


On February 28 at the Fifth California Climate and Agriculture Summit, CalCAN recognized three individuals for their leadership in the field of agriculture and climate change. Awards were given to experts in three areas: policy, science, and farming or ranching. The awards were presented by CalCAN coalition members Dave Runsten (CAFF), Reggie Knox (California FarmLink), and Kelly Damewood (CCOF). The 2017 winners are: California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross – Secretary Ross has led the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) since she was appointed by Governor Brown in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 20, 2017 on farm bill

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is in the midst of preparing California’s recommendations for the 2018 Farm Bill. The farm bill is renewed every five years and serves as the policy guideline for food and farming in the United States. The legislation touches all of us in numerous ways, as this blog post and others to follow in a series will explain in greater detail.       The farm bill is essential for agriculture in the present time, but it also plays a vital role in shaping our future. It helps fund research and education programs; it supports the development of our...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 6, 2017 on advocacy, funding, policy, water

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) offers agricultural operations in California up to $100,000 to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water. As noted in a previous CCOF blog entry, SWEEP funds can be used to install the following: Weather-, soil-, or plant-based sensors for irrigation scheduling Micro-irrigation or drip systems Conversion of a diesel pumps to solar, wind, electric, or natural gas Improved energy efficiency (e.g., retrofitting or replacing pumps) Low pressure irrigation systems Variable frequency drives to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 6, 2017 on materials and inputs, NOSB

Your feedback is needed! Over the course of its next two meetings, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will review several of the fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations, which are recorded in the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). These production and handling inputs will be reviewed and voted on by NOSB based on their Sunset timeline (renewal date), and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 27, 2017 on materials and inputs, NOSB

Your feedback is needed! Over the course of its next two meetings, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will review several of the fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations, which are recorded in the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). These production and handling inputs will be reviewed and voted on by NOSB based on their Sunset timeline (renewal date), and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 27, 2017 on events

The Organic Trade Association is now accepting nominations for its annual prestigious Organic Leadership Awards, which recognize organic individuals who have made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade. For 2017, the award categories will once again be Growing the Organic Industry, Organic Farmer of the Year, and Rising Star. Think about the movers and shakers, the well-known and the unsung, and those who are playing an instrumental role in the organic sector. Nominees must have demonstrated skills, innovation, personal commitment, leadership, and vision to grow...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 27, 2017 on CalCAN, policy

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) recently released the draft program guidelines for the third round of funding for the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP). Part of the council’s smart growth climate programs, SALCP funds easements on agricultural lands at risk of sprawl and rural ranchette development. The program also provides funding for local governments to adopt land use policies that protect at-risk agricultural lands. No significant changes were made this year to the draft program guidelines. While the draft program...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, policy, State Organic Program


The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is pleased to announce a federal funding opportunity of $12.5 million for eligible applicants under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). The SOP has applied to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the United States Department of Agriculture to assist in distribution of these funds. This money assists organic producers and handlers by offsetting costs related to SOP registration, certification, and transitional fees paid to certifiers as producers transition to organic. The cost share...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 on advocacy, financial assistance, policy, water

Grant applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are now being accepted through March 14, 2017. SWEEP provides financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement irrigation systems that save water and energy while reducing greenhouse gases on California agricultural operations. This week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced an additional 22 grant application assistance workshops for farmers interested in applying to the program. The workshops are being hosted mostly by local Resource Conservation Districts and Extension...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 23, 2017 on materials and inputs

Join us in learning more about OMRI-listed crop biostimulants/biofertilizers that contain microbes. Get a better return on investment from these products and help others to, also. Register now for three free conference calls teaming university, company, and grower expertise. The total value of the U.S. biofertilizer market is $120 million dollars and increasing rapidly. No surprise, given evidence indicating that nearly 40 percent of a large number of sustainable-organic vegetable growers used one or more Microbe-Containing Biostimulants and Biofertilizers (MCBSFs) nearly every season from...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 2, 2017 on research

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center is collecting data on farmer experiences with production contracts—legal agreements under which they care for poultry or livestock owned by another party or grow a crop under a contract. This survey is being conducted on behalf of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Results will be used to prepare a new guide to help farmers better understand and utilize production contracts. The data we are collecting is important to provide new resources to farmers on production contracts. The survey should take participants less than 10 minutes to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 19, 2016 on advocacy, policy

The proposed mergers of Dow Chemical with DuPont, Monsanto with Bayer, and Syngenta with ChemChina could potentially reduce competition and farmers’ choices and will likely make inputs (including seeds and animal feed) more expensive. Join us in opposing this concentration of power by signing a sign-on letter on agrochemical and seed industry mergers. An alliance of environmental and farm groups, including Friends of the Earth, is asking for participation from all concerned constituents, but especially farmers, to make our voices heard. We are pushing for an investigation into and halt of the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 12, 2016 on advocacy, events, policy

Learn about the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California at the CalCAN Summit on February 28 and March 1, 2017, in Davis, California. The Summit begins February 28 with a conference at UC Davis featuring a wide variety of workshops, plus keynote speakers California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross and University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Vice President Glenda Humiston. On March 1, participants will tour three innovative Yolo County farms that use integrated farming practices to improve soil health, increase...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 12, 2016 on advocacy, policy

The National Organic Program has issued a draft guidance "Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037)" that is available for public comment through February 6, 2017. Although the USDA organic regulations establish labeling categories for organic products based on the percentage of organic ingredients in the product, certifying agents have interpreted the requirements for calculating the percent of organic ingredients differently. The draft guidance clarifies the standards for calculating organic percentages for finished products, including multi-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 5, 2016 on funding

A major farmer and rancher funding opportunity is now available! USDA is currently accepting initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a national program that rewards farmers for protecting and enhancing natural resources on their working lands. CSP funding includes expanded options for conservation activities and an increased minimum payment to help smaller-scale producers. Contracts may include a range of practices from cover crops and rotational grazing to ecologically-based pest management. Interested farmers should visit their local NRCS office to fill out a...

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