Blog posts by Peter Nell

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-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The next California State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting will be held on July 11, 2017. The board is comprised of 15 members who represent agriculture, geographic regions, consumers, and faculty from both the University of California and California State University academic systems.    The meeting will be held at the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) offices, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 98415, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.   The agenda includes two presentations to the board and two panel discussions. The board information packet is available...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on education, general organic, policy

Applications for California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA), are now being accepted until August 11, 2017. GEELA honors individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated voluntary contributions in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy.   Projects/programs must fall into one of five categories and subcategories: Climate change Ecosystem and land use stewardship Environmental education Sustainable...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The bill to create the California Beef Commission, AB 243, will be discussed at the next Judiciary Committee hearing on July 11, 2017.   CCOF does not have a position on AB 243 but will continue to track AB 243’s progress through the senate, as the creation of the California Beef Commission would affect members.   Supporters of AB 243 state that Californian cattle producers are interested in increasing the mandatory assessments on the sale of cattle but want to ensure that any increase in fees benefit California and Californian producers. Funds collected through the proposed check-off program...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy, standards

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has released 30 questions for input from the public regarding GMO labeling (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard). CCOF plans to respond to the proposed questions and encourages its members to also provide input to USDA. Submit responses to GMOlabeling@asm.usda.gov by July 17, 2017.   USDA is seeking input for a proposed rule on GMO labeling to fulfill its congressional mandate to implement a mandatory GMO labeling standard. The proposed rule is expected to be released for public comment in late fall or early winter. For more background, visit...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on policy, regulatory, standards

The National Organic Program (NOP) has issued a memorandum in response to the National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) recommendations made at its spring 2017 meeting.    At their spring 2017 meeting in Denver, NOSB, the 15-member federal advisory committee that provides advice to USDA and the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, recommended that L-Methionine, an essential amino acid, be added to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The National List includes allowed and prohibited synthetic, non-synthetic, and non-organic substances.    NOP responded to...

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