From Field to Forum

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, livestock, policy

Please send a letter to your U.S. senator today and urge them to vote NO on any amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that interferes with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ability to keep organic animal welfare standards strong. Send an electronic letter directly to your senators. Here’s the issue: The National Organic Program (NOP) released a Proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices in April. This proposed rule addresses a wide range of issues raised by the National Organic Standards Board, the federally-empowered advisory body to the Secretary...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is holding a hearing on July 5, 2016, in Sacramento on proposed changes to the law that regulates fertilizer production and sales in California. CDFA is also accepting comments on these proposed changes through June 27, 2016. Proposed changes include: A list of ingredients in decreasing amounts is required for packaged soil amendments and organic input material (OIM) bulk soil amendments. Liquid OIMs with a nitrogen guarantee greater than 3 percent must submit an OIM inspection report annually. The Secretary of Agriculture will...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy

This week the California State Legislature sent the fiscal year 2016-17 budget to Governor Jerry Brown without deciding how the state would spend billions in climate change investments. Among the programs waiting for a decision on funding are the Healthy Soils Initiative, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), the Dairy Methane Program, and the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program. What gives? The cap-and-trade program was created under California’s climate change law, AB 32. Cap-and-trade limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the biggest polluters in...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Agriculture on California’s State Organic Program’s enforcement activities. The members are made up of six producers (at least one producer of meat, fowl, fish, dairy products, or eggs); two processors; one wholesale distributor; two consumer representatives; one environmental representative; two technical representatives with scientific credentials related to agricultural chemicals, toxicology, or food science; and one retail representative. Each member on the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 20, 2016 on

After more than 40 years of hands-on experience, advice, and instruction, Amigo Bob is a go-to resource for many of the world's leading organic farmers. Which is why it is with especially heavy hearts that we report that this extraordinary man, who has given his life to chemical-free farming, is now facing the grim realities of treating Stage Four HPV-related neck cancer. Amigo needs our help. Here's the scoop: With the support of his loving partner Jennifer, Amigo has been working to address his cancer for the past several years using alternative and less invasive therapies in hopes of...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 13, 2016 on livestock, NOP, regulatory, standards


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service extended the comment period for the Proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. Stakeholders now have until July 13, 2016 to submit comments. This landmark proposed rule adds numerous livestock and poultry production practices to the national organic standards. It proposes to add 19 new definitions to the standards and new requirements for livestock health care, mammalian living conditions, avian living conditions, transport, and slaughter. CCOF welcomes this long-awaited rule and urges the USDA...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, June 13, 2016 on materials and inputs, NOP, policy, regulatory, standards

CCOF and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently submitted statements representing the interests of organic producers in a federal lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the Allowance of Green Waste in Organic Production Systems. The guidance states that organic standards are process-based. These processes aim to exclude pesticide residues. However, the compost may contain pesticide residues so long as those levels do not contribute to the contamination of...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, June 6, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has partnered with the National FFA Organization to give grants to high school students who are interested in conducting organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. In collaboration with an FFA advisor, these students design organic agricultural projects to conduct over the course of a year. Students are challenged to involve other students, mentors, and members of their community to ensure their project’s...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, June 6, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at Expo Orgánico at the World Trade Center in Mexico City, Mexico from June 22 through 24, 2016. Expo Orgánico is the largest organic trade show in Mexico, where producers from Mexico showcase their products to buyers from Europe, Canada, and the United States. Get free admission to the event by pre-registering online. Come visit us at our booth! CCOF estará en Expo Orgánico en México, desde del 22 al 24 de junio en el WTC de Ciudad de México. Obtén tu acceso gratuito al evento haciendo tu pre-registro en línea. Ven y visita nuestro stand.
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

A crucial milestone in the California Organic Food and Farming Act’s progress occurred on Friday, May 27, when the bill, AB 1826, was forwarded out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, the Appropriations Committee is responsible for assessing the fiscal impact of all bills. Many CCOF members sent letters of support to Assemblymember Gonzalez and helped move the bill out of committee. The next stop for AB 1826 is the floor of the California Assembly. A vote may be scheduled as soon as Tuesday, May 31. Once it passes the Assembly, it will go...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met at the end of April to hear public comment, discuss the 2018 Sunset Materials, and vote on a number of proposals. NOSB also welcomed six new board members at the April meeting, including CCOF member Jesse Buie! Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on 12 proposals during the spring 2016 meeting. Most notably, NOSB voted on multiple proposals to change the use of parasiticides in organic livestock production. NOSB made a final recommendation to update organic regulatory language to require: “That parasiticides continue to be...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has partnered with the National FFA Organization to give grants to high school students who are interested in conducting organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. In collaboration with an FFA advisor, these students design organic agricultural projects to conduct over the course of a year. Students are challenged to involve other students, mentors, and members of their community to ensure their project’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on funding, grower

On May 13, 2016, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups. “Organic farming already provides many environmental benefits, including improved soil health and water quality,” said Greg Fogel, Senior Policy Specialist with NSAC. “The...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, May 23, 2016 on CCOF

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is seeking a director of farm certification to work in the Santa Cruz, California office. The director will oversee CCOF’s farm-level certification programs within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally-accredited organic certification programs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as CCOF’s Food Safety Services program. This position may also implement new add-on programs. This is a senior management level position for a self-directed, career-minded individual with good judgement. Applicants must have...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 23, 2016 on grower, livestock, research

The growing numbers of small-scale farms (SSFs)1 and peri-urban and urban animal agriculture farms (UA)2 has increased the need for Extension specialists and veterinarians focused on small-scale and backyard livestock production. We are seeking your help in this needs assessment regarding animal health concerns on SSFs and UA in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. This study is led by Dr. Alda Pires (University of California), Dr. Dale Moore (Washington State University), and Dr. Ragan Adams (Colorado State University). The increasing popularity of local food production and...

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