Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, State Organic Program

CCOF encourages the organic community to complete the California State Organic Program (SOP) survey. The survey will help SOP develop new communication and marketing tools.   The survey will guide the SOP on how to create and publish new messaging. The survey gathers information such as what participants know about the program, what they would like to see from the program, and where’d they like to see new information published.    For questions regarding the survey, please contact the SOP.
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, regulatory, water


Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted requirements for commercial and personal medical use cannabis cultivation. The requirements—the Cannabis Cultivation Policy—aim to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions.    The Cannabis Cultivation Policy is available online. The policy should be referenced by cannabis cultivators who divert surface water to irrigate cannabis or plan to.    Licensed cannabis cultivators must register with the State Water Board under one or two cannabis cultivation regulatory programs. Applications for the State Water Board...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on policy

CCOF applauds the growing bipartisan support for organic agriculture research in both chambers of Congress, including the broad support for organic research from California members of the House.    Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2018. This bill increases federal investment in the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, which funds organic agricultural research throughout the United States.    This bill compliments the House Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436), which has a strong showing...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, employment

The National Farmers Union is accepting applications for the Beginning Farmer Institute. The Beginning Farmer Institute focuses on developing leadership and farm management skills in beginning farmers through small group teaching.    The application form is available for download and applications are accepted until April 30, 2018.   Eligible applicants include those who are currently farming or planning on starting within the next year. Ownership of an operation is not required, and operators of any operation type or size are eligible. The program is open to residents throughout the...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on events, general organic


Each year the EcoFarm Conference kicks off with a popular all-day farm bus tour. This year, the tour was titled “Organic Farming On and Near the Hollister Plain” and brought participants to farms and ranches in the Hollister area, including three CCOF-certified operations: Coke Farm, Morris Grassfed, and Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce.   The packed tour began at Coke Farm with Dale and Christine Coke explaining the services they provide to bolster their local community of organic farmers. Coke Farm pioneered organic strawberry growing and spring mixes, and was one of the first CCOF-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy, regulatory, standards

Last week, CCOF submitted a comment to USDA opposing the agency’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. CCOF also joined 80 other organic producers, retailers, organizations, certifiers, farm groups, and consumer organizations in an open letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to implement the rule.    The OLPP rule is the result of decades of rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and members of the organic community. The rule ensures that organic animals live in pasture-based systems, establishes minimum indoor and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on fees, help and tips

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released a comprehensive guidebook to aid farmers with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans. The illustrated guidebook, Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, is available for free online or in hard copy for $15. NYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They support practices and policies to sustain young, independent, and prosperous farmers now and in the future. The guidebook, created with the help of FSA, includes a wide array of information that covers FSA’s...
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 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 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 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...

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