Blog posts by Peter Nell

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 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 Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on general organic, standards

USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) updated their resources for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic. Their organic resources have various resources such as guides, videos, fact sheets, webinars, booklets, and more.    NRCS’s newest booklet, Growing Organic: NRCS Assistance for Organic Farmers, provides a wealth of information for farmers who are interested in implementing practices that support soil health, weed management, habitat and biodiversity, irrigation and water management, pasture management, and high tunnels.   An updated guide 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...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Jacksonville, Florida October 31 through November 2, 2017.    Organic stakeholders can now register to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Jacksonville.    The NOSB will host an online webinar on October 24, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 11, 2017. If all speaking slots are taken, NOSB will host an additional webinar on October 26, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, NOP

Last week, the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy announced his retirement in a letter to the organic community.    In his letter, McEvoy gives deep appreciation to each level of the organic food chain. He highlights his top ten list of accomplishments at NOP which includes: Developing a quality management system for NOP that improves program consistency and effectiveness. Improving the communication and transparency of NOP. Developing the NOP Handbook and implementing the Sound and Sensible certification process. Ensuring that all accreditation audits were...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, standards

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a lawsuit against USDA over its delay of the implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    OTA’s lawsuit alleges that: USDA violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it delayed OLPP without any public process and also violated the same act by abusing its discretion by proposing action to indefinitely delay or shelve the rule; USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act and its consultation provisions where industry and public stakeholders can revise, refine, and advance organic standards via the well-defined...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, materials, NOSB, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the meeting materials for their upcoming fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.    NOSB will discuss: Compliance, Accreditation, & Certification Subcommittee: o Proposal: Eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production o Proposal: Excluded operations in the supply chain (uncertified handlers) Crops Subcommittee: o Crops 2019 Sunset Reviews o Proposal: Petition - Fatty alcohols (octanol/decanol mix) o Proposal: Petition - Anaerobic Digestate o Proposal: Strengthening the organic seed guidance (NOP 5029)...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

USDA and the National Center for Appropriate Techonology (NCAT) will host the third annual Latino Farmer Conference on November 7, 2017, in Palm Desert, California. The conference is open to all farmers and ranchers, and will be presented in Spanish with English translation provided via translation headsets. The conference aims to bring the Latino farming community, the agricultural industry and agribusiness, and advocates for sustainability together for workshops and networking.   Registration is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will vote on the re-listing or removal of 43 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Jacksonville, Florida on October 31 – November 2, 2017.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via https://www.regulations.gov/ using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0024-0001 until October 11, 2017. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through a pre-meeting webinar.   NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on general organic, grower, handler, regulatory

FDA released an informational guide to assist businesses in complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). The guide, “Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: What you Need to Know about the FDA Regulation: Guidance for Industry Small Entity Compliance Guide,” explains FSMA and its rules.    CCOF highly encourages members falling into the small entity category, as defined in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act, to reference the comprehensive guide for questions regarding FSMA requirements.   Chapter...
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...

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