From Field to Forum

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted nine comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their 2017 spring meeting. The comments cover many agenda items, including the 2019 Sunset Review substances. NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program that meets twice a year. This spring, the board will meet in Denver, Colorado, on April 19-21, 2017. NOSB will begin the yearly Sunset Review process in which it reviews substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) to determine their status in organic production. This year 43 substances are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy, water

The Central Coast Water Board approved a new Agricultural Order on March 8, 2017. This is a three-year Agricultural Order which must be replaced by March 7, 2020. The new Agricultural Order is the third Agricultural Order adopted in the central coast region, so is referred to as Ag Order 3.0. Ag Order 3.0 requires groundwater monitoring in 2017 and also expands the Total Nitrogen Applied reporting requirement. Please review the highlights of these two requirements below. We will provide additional information soon, such as an updated compliance calendar, information about workshop...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, marketing, policy

The deadline to comment on two proposed rules for the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (also known as the Organic check-off program) has been extended through April 19, 2017. The proposed check-off program is projected to raise at least $30 million per year to fund organic research, technical assistance, and promotion of the organic brand. What Will the Check-Off Do? The check-off would create a 17-member governance board comprised of eight certified organic producers, seven certified organic handlers, one certified organic importer, and one at-large public member. This...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural labor issues, rural job development, and opportunities for career technical education at its upcoming meeting on April 4, 2017, in Sacramento. Over the next 5-10 years, on-farm automation and research will impact the agricultural sector, creating a need for rural job development and technical training for farm workers in communities across the state. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814. “...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 3, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Haleigh Jones is an agriculture environmental plant science major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has always been very passionate about agriculture and working in the industry, and in high school, Jones served as an officer in FFA. While Jones has a history of purchasing organic food, it wasn’t until she interned on an organic farm that she discovered that she wants to work in organic agriculture. “I believe in the methods, both on a sustainability level regarding the benefits it has on the environment and the land, and on a nutritional level,” said Jones. “...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has released a revised proposal for regulating the use of agricultural pesticides near school sites and licensed child day care facilities. The department is inviting the public to comment on the revisions through April 4, 2017. The key revisions to the proposed regulation include: Growers will not be required to notify school sites/licensed child day care facilities and the county agricultural commissioners (CACs) of pesticide applications made within a quarter mile of these facilities 48 hours before they occur. However, growers will...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) has relisted 187 substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The complete list of substances can be found on the Federal Register. As part of the 2017 Sunset Review, the substances were recommended to be renewed by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Each substance on the National List is reviewed every five years to determine whether it should remain on the list or not. NOSB evaluates the substances using the criteria of whether it is harmful to human health or the environment, if the substance is no longer...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on advocacy, NOP, policy

The comment period is closing soon to submit comments to the National Organic Program regarding their draft guidance on calculating the percentage of organic ingredients in multi-ingredient products. Comments can be submitted until April 7, 2017 to regulations.gov using docket number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1558. The draft guidance could impact product labelling and the calculation of organic ingredients. CCOF urges all processors/handlers and members of the public to review the draft guidance and submit their recommendations. CCOF will also submit a comment. Contact CCOF’s Policy Team for additional...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on research

A new research study, "Biodiversity and Organic Farming in the United States," led by Carolyn Dimitri at New York University, needs the input of certified organic growers nationwide. Biodiversity is a vital component for the resiliency of farms and their surrounding ecosystems. However, there are many challenges to integrating conservation requirements in the National Organic Program. A “one-size-fits-all” solution is unlikely because of the importance of region, crop, and other factors in conservation techniques. This study will gather information about opportunities to measure or increase...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jonathan Houser is a 26-year-old Navy submarine veteran who lives in Sparta, North Carolina, with his wife Hannah and daughter Sallie. They are expecting their second child this winter. Houser grew up on his grandfather’s tobacco and cattle farm, and the Houser family now owns Blue Feather Creek Farm, a small 30-acre farm that is home to sheep, chickens, and rabbits (so far). They also grow a variety of crops using sustainable methods without the use of synthetic chemicals. Houser is currently attending Appalachian State University and expects to graduate in May 2017 with a degree in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 20, 2017 on CalCAN


On February 28 at the Fifth California Climate and Agriculture Summit, CalCAN recognized three individuals for their leadership in the field of agriculture and climate change. Awards were given to experts in three areas: policy, science, and farming or ranching. The awards were presented by CalCAN coalition members Dave Runsten (CAFF), Reggie Knox (California FarmLink), and Kelly Damewood (CCOF). The 2017 winners are: California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross – Secretary Ross has led the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) since she was appointed by Governor Brown in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 20, 2017 on research

In conjunction with National Agriculture Day, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is launching the 2017 Census of Agriculture on March 21, 2017. The Census of Agriculture is taken every five years and collects comprehensive data on farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. The Census is conducted in all 50 states and all five U.S. territories. CCOF’s Senior Policy Specialist Jane Sooby participated in the 2016 NASS Community-based Organization Workshop and spoke to the importance of the Census of Agriculture to organic. Data is collected from any place from which at...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 20, 2017 on farm bill

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is in the midst of preparing California’s recommendations for the 2018 Farm Bill. The farm bill is renewed every five years and serves as the policy guideline for food and farming in the United States. The legislation touches all of us in numerous ways, as this blog post and others to follow in a series will explain in greater detail.       The farm bill is essential for agriculture in the present time, but it also plays a vital role in shaping our future. It helps fund research and education programs; it supports the development of our...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 20, 2017 on materials, materials and inputs, NOSB

The deadlines to register for oral comments and submit written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting in Denver, Colorado are quickly approaching! It is critical that members of the public submit comments on the materials and other agenda items because the discussions at this meeting will impact future organic standards and materials allowed in organic production. 43 substances will be discussed at the spring meeting: Crop scope substances and common brands and products: Biodegradable biobased mulch film Boric acid  Sticky traps/barriers...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Nicole Gurreri often spent hot summer days helping her grandfather– a retired farmer–manage his garden. Though she enjoyed the rhythm of weeding and harvesting, her favorite activity was picking his plentiful fruit bushes, always making sure that she ate one berry for every one that was dropped into her harvest bucket. Many years later Gurreri found herself at College of the Atlantic, a tiny school on the coast of Maine with a strong focus on sustainability. As she studied ecology and natural sciences her freshman year, she became interested in the local and...

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