Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 28, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The state of California shared their 2018 Farm Bill recommendations with congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The letter was signed by the heads of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the California Natural Resource Agency, and the California Health and Human Services Agency.    California’s recommendations cover funding food and nutrition programs, protecting and enhancing conservation programs, safeguarding marketing and trade programs, strengthening animal and plant health...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 28, 2017 on education, events, general organic

The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) and California Climate Action Network (CalCAN) are hosting a fully funded four-day policy advocacy training for women farmers and ranchers. The training, Forces of Natures: Advocacy Skills Training for Women Farmers and Ranchers, will be held at OAEC in Sonoma, California, on November 9-12, 2017.   The training will boost advocacy skills for women passionate about regenerative ranching and farming, enhance strategic thinking, and provide an environment ripe for networking and mentoring. The training schedule is available online.   Registration...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 14, 2017 on education, funding, general organic

CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program is now accepting applications for grants to farmers and ranchers who implement on-farm practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon in soil, trees, and shrubs. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on September 19, 2017.    The CCOF Foundation has funding through the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN) to provide support for the Healthy Soils applications of small, organic, and disadvantaged growers. Please contact Jessy Parr at jparr@ccof.org for more information.    The Healthy Soils Incentives Program will provide...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 7, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via web conference on August 14, 2017 at 1:00–3:00 p.m. to discuss hydroponics in organic food production.    Access the web conference at https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3itgag2r7btt&eom.   CCOF highly encourages stakeholders and those interested to listen into the web conference.   NOSB is a federal advisory committee composed of 15 volunteers representing farmers; handlers; environmental protection and resource conservation; public interest and consumer groups; toxicology, ecology, or biochemistry; retailers; and organic certifying...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 7, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

On Thursday, August 10, 2017, Congressman Jimmy Panetta and Congressman Jim Costa will host a roundtable discussion with Ranking Member Collin Peterson of the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee.   The roundtable will be held from 9:30am to 11:00 a.m. at:   Hartnell Community College – Steinbeck Hall 411 Central Ave.  Salinas, CA 93901   CCOF highly encourages members to attend the meeting and advocate on behalf of the organic community. The roundtable is a rare opportunity for stakeholders to speak to three congressmen on the important House Agriculture Committee as they work...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 31, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

Members of the United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee will host a roundtable discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill on Thursday, August 10, 2017.    Congressmen Jimmy Panetta and Jim Costa will be joined by House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson to gather California’s Central Coast’s farm bill priorities from 9:30 am to 11:00 a.m. at:    Hartnell Community College – Steinbeck Hall 411 Central Ave.  Salinas, CA 93901   The event is a rare opportunity for producers on the Central Coast to contribute to the national discussions that will help form the 2018...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 31, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

Modesto, California will host the next House Committee on Agriculture’s farm bill listening session. The session will start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at: Modesto Junior College West Campus – ACE Ag Pavilion Brink Ave. & Shoemaker Ave. Modesto, CA 95385   Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson are hosting the session to gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill includes funding to the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, the Organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a farm bill listening session in Modesto, California on August 5, 2017. Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson will gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   The farm bill is a crucial piece of legislation that affects millions of Americans. It is passed by Congress every five years and sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. It consists of 12 major sections or titles: commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic

Organic champion and CCOF Board of Directors chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards has been awarded the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award!   LaRocca is a pioneering organic wine grape grower and winemaker who uses innovative, environmentally friendly farming practices to produce wines with no added sulfites. He became the first certified organic apple grower in 1975 and then transitioned to wine and grape growing.      LaRocca has been active with CCOF since its inception and has spent the last 40 years advocating for organic farming. He is a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will host Farm Bill listening sessions in San Angelo, Texas on July 21, 2017 and in Morgan, Minnesota on August 3, 2017. The sessions will provide legislators insight that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   More information regarding the sessions will be available shortly. The sessions are often broadcasted on the House Committee on Agriculture website. Copies of witness testimonies will also be available.     Both the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture have hosted farm bill listening sessions across the country. The sessions give members of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, funding, general organic, policy, regulatory

Support continued funding of the National Organic Program (NOP) by using the Organic Trade Association’s portal to contact your representatives and convey the importance of continuing strong NOP oversight over organic certification.   CCOF highly encourages members and the organic community to contact their representatives and advocate on behalf of organic and importance of funding NOP.    The House Appropriations Committee could affect NOP funding in several ways. One interference tactic is to add rider bills to budget bills that would block funding. The Organic Livestock and Poultry...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The deadline for nominations for individuals with environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds to fill an upcoming vacancy on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! Nominations must be submitted by August 7, 2017 and include a resume, an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before August 7, 2017. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls, review materials and/or recommend changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

California Governor Jerry Brown authorized $10 million in funding in the 2017 budget to prevent the spread of the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB), a citrus-killing disease carried by the insect. ACP feeds on citrus plant leaves and stems, causing deformation and plant stunting. It is a known carrier of HLB. The insect and disease have causes over $7 billion in economic impact in Florida, and its arrival in California poses a major threat. While it has yet to spread to commercial citrus trees, approximately 375 trees have been removed in Kern County, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances.    The final rule is consistent with the 2015 recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

Both the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the United States House Committee on Agriculture have busy weeks with key farm bill hearings scheduled. On July 13, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will have a full committee hearing titled Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.   The hearing will be the first time organic agriculture will be highlighted in a 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The committee will announce witnesses shortly. A live-...

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