Blog posts by Noah Lakritz

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 19, 2021 on advocacy, policy

On Thursday, April 15, CCOF­–co-sponsored AB-125 passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee with a bipartisan 10–0 vote, moving on to the Natural Resources Committee. The “Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act of 2022,” which would invest $3.302 billion across the food and agriculture system over five years, would constitute the largest state investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. The bill includes funding for organic transition support, technical assistance, and education. It would also boost the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 5, 2021 on roadmap

A recent farmer- and rancher-led climate change solutions report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) highlights the importance of organic agriculture as a climate solution. In stakeholder engagement meetings, farmers, ranchers, and relevant nonprofits discussed organic as both a climate solution and a mechanism to protect communities from pesticide exposure.The resulting report reflects this input and includes recommendations for the state to further implement organic in California. These recommendations include (but are not limited to) supporting the transition to...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 5, 2021 on conservation, water

Nominations are open for the inaugural Specialty Grower Sustainability Award until April 16, 2021. The award sponsors are looking for growers that have made efforts on their farm including:Participation in sustainability tracing programsSocial impact in local communityApplying more biological products vs. conventional chemistriesNew irrigation practices/system that reduces water usageSponsored by Great American Media Services and Valent U.S.A., the award will be presented at the United Fresh Convention & Expo in June 2021. The winner will be profiled in multiple Great American Media...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 29, 2021 on crisis resilience, funding, policy

Earlier this month, the federal government approved $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 economic relief, including $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans, vaccination resources, and aid to state and local governments. Provisions in the package for agriculture, known as the American Rescue Plan, amount to a relatively minor $16 billion spread across several programs.A key portion of the agriculture funding includes billions in debt relief for farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). This provision is a version of the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, which the new...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 22, 2021 on materials and inputs, NOSB

Deadlines are approaching to submit public comments and register for oral comments for the spring 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. We encourage CCOF members to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances, especially regarding substances listed on their Organic System Plan.Crop MaterialsCopper sulfate (§205.601(a)(3) & §205.601(e)(4))The NOSB will review copper sulfate for use as an algicide in aquatic rice systems and as tadpole shrimp control in aquatic rice production at the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021 on advocacy, policy

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 on general organic, policy

On January 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom released a $227 billion proposed budget for the 2021–2022 fiscal year. Despite concern over the effect of COVID-19 response on the state's budget deficit, the Governor's proposal includes healthy funding levels for several critical agriculture programs, including the following: $3.75 million ongoing funding to the California Department of Food and Agriculture to support integrated pest management strategies and a new, tiered approach to the pesticide mill fee that taxes pesticides based on toxicity levels$6.7 million for UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, January 11, 2021 on

On December 1, United States Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released a landmark new bill to support existing and aspiring Black farmers. The 78-page bill would provide increased resources for all farmers, but particularly for Black farmers, through increased land access, education, and funding for existing USDA programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program. It would also seek to remediate historic and ongoing discrimination at the Department of Agriculture by reforming the USDA Office of Civil Rights and creating an independent...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, resources

The deadline for farmers and ranchers to apply for financial relief from USDA through the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) is December 11. CCOF encourages members to consider applying for the program, which may provide significant financial relief for your agricultural business. The CCOF policy team has spoken with multiple members who have benefited from the program and is ready to support members with the application process directly.   In addition to the CFAP resources outlined in our previous blog post, the following resources are newly available, including a CFAP 2...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

CCOF partner, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), is requesting farmer feedback on two initiatives:Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsJustice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Organic Community CCOF supports OTA’s effort to prioritize these initiatives in 2021 and encourages our members to fill out the associated surveys, described in detail below, by the November 30 deadline.  Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsChickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination are some of the requirements that...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, October 19, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, resources

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting applications for the second round of funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) through December 11, 2020. CFAP 2 features a new payment structure and simplified application process that will likely benefit many organic producers, including those ineligible and those that qualified for little relief in the first round of funding. Farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for CFAP 2 regardless of whether they received a payment from the first round of CFAP funding. In addition to increased payments for many commodities,...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on general organic

The Agricultural Council of California is providing a video developed with the California Department of Public Health to address topics outside normal employee safety issues surrounding COVID-19. This Spanish language video provides safety practices guidelines to reduce COVID-19 spread outside of the workplace. The video is intended for farmworkers and employees of food processing plants. Topics include, but are not limited to: the impacts of COVID-19 in the Latinx communityhow to safely commute in shared transportationkeeping COVID-19 germs out of the househow to protect families when...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on general organic

El Consejo Agrícola ofreció un video desarrollado con CDPH para abordar temas fuera de los problemas normales de seguridad de los empleados relacionados con el COVID-19. Este video en Español proporciona guias de prácticas de seguridad para reducir la propagación del COVID-19 fuera del lugar de trabajo. El video está dirigido a trabajadores agrícolas y empleados de plantas procesadoras de alimentos. Los temas incluyen, pero no se limitan a: los impactos del COVID-19 en la comunidad Latinacómo viajar de forma segura en transporte compartidomantener los gérmenes del COVID-19 fuera de la...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 28, 2020 on crisis resilience, policy, resources

The USDA announced a second round of funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP 2 will provide $14 billion in additional direct payments to farmers and ranchers. This new round of includes substantive changes from the first round, some of which may benefit organic producers:Compensation for losses experienced from April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 (or from April 16 for livestock)Additional price loss based payments for commodity crops covered by the first round of CFAPA new fixed $15/acre payment for many grains, oilseed, and hemp crops that were not previously...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 21, 2020 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their virtual fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, are approaching! We encourage members of the organic community to 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. Read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews). Handling Substances:KaolinSodium bicarbonateWaxes - nonsynthetic (Wood resin)Ammonium bicarbonate -...

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