Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Paicines Ranch will host a four-day workshop on how to produce nutrient dense food by improving the health of animals, people, and the planet. The four-day workshop occurs April 12-15, 2018 and will be led by Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association and Spencer Smith of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management.   Tickets for the workshop began at $400 and will increase to $600.    The workshop will focus on soil health and the economic feasibility of farming and ranching including how to apply holistic management to operations. Soil health expert Jill Clapperton of Rhizoterra,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, policy

Last week, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) took action to support his organic constituents when he signed on as a cosponsor of H.R.3871, the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act.    20 CCOF-certified members signed a letter urging Congressman LaMalfa to support H.R.3871 because it would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.    CCOF applauds Congressman LaMalfa’s support for organic priorities and his continued...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Tucson 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.    Crop Scope Substances Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol Sodium carbonate peroxyhdrate  Newspaper or other recycled paper  Plastic mulch and covers  Aqueous potassium silicate  Elemental sulfur Lime sulfur...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

USDA ignored the pleas of organic producers across the country when it announced its final decision to ignore the organic rulemaking process and withdraw the widely supported Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    CCOF members have long advocated for the OLPP rule because it would have brought greater clarity and consistency to organic livestock production and certification.     CCOF members are already in compliance with the majority of the provisions that would have been clarified under OLPP, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Tucson, Arizona on April 25-27, 2018.    Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and/or at the meeting in Tucson.    The NOSB will host webinars on April 17, 2018 and April 19, 2018 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 4, 2018. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.    The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Tucson. Commenters must register...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


(L to R) Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance; Patricia Carrillo, ALBA; Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas); Dave Runsten, Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Peter Nell, CCOF   In early March, CCOF joined coalition members of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) in Sacramento to advocate for California’s climate-smart agriculture programs. Attendees met with California legislators, staff members, and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross to discuss how agricultural programs can help California achieve climate goals and to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Organic Week is an annual event that brings the organic sector to Washington D.C. for a week of conferences, meetings with legislators, and more.   CCOF’s top priority at this year’s Organic Week is Hill Visit Day—an event that brings organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, processors, organizations, and others into the offices and meeting rooms of Capitol Hill to advocate for organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.    Organic Week also includes the Organic Center’s two day Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brings together a diverse group of organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, policy, regulatory

In light of California’s new recreational cannabis cultivation and sales allowances, some organic producers are considering adding cannabis cultivation to their operations. However, producers should be aware that USDA has a long-standing policy regarding cannabis production, which could impact grower’s eligibility for a range of USDA programs including Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and crop insurance.    USDA staff cannot provide technical assistance to cannabis producers and producers with conservation contracts with NRCS who are growing cannabis...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 12, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will discuss the re-listing or removal of 40 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Tucson, Arizona on April 25-27, 2018.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via www.regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0057-0001 until April 4, 2018. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars.   NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, general organic, research

The Organic Center released new research completed in collaboration with the University of Virginia showing that organic farming can help reduce nitrogen pollution on a global scale. The study found that organic farming helps prevent nitrogen pollution by recycling three times more reactive nitrogen than conventional farming.    The study shows that 93 percent of all nitrogen used to produce conventional food was newly-created reactive nitrogen. In organic foods, only 33 percent of the nitrogen used to produce foods was new reactive nitrogen. The rest of the nitrogen used is recycled. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 26, 2018 on advocacy, funding, grants, policy

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly, AB-2377, to establish a technical assistance grant program for farmers and ranchers applying for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The technical assistance grants will address the difficulty in designing, applying for, and implementing projects for the programs.   The bill requires CDFA to provide funding to technical assistance providers, such as resource conservation districts or nonprofit organizations, to assist farmers and ranchers applying to the Healthy Soils Program,...
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...

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