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Hemp Bill Opens Possibility for Certified Organic Hemp Production in California

Hemp
In late May, the California Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1409 (R-Wilk-21) and is now being considered in the Assembly. SB 1409 would remove barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp and increase access to hemp seed. 
 

House Ag Committee Releases First Farm Bill Draft

Last week the House Agriculture Committee released their first draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. Agriculture policy wonks across the country are reviewing the text and preparing for next steps. 
 
CCOF is pleased to see most of its top priorities included in the House draft:
 

House Agriculture Committee Announces First Farm Bill Listening Session in Florida

The House Agriculture Committee will hold its first of several listening sessions regarding the 2018 Farm Bill in a series titled “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field” in Gainesville, Florida on June 24, 2017. The series is intended to spark discussion among the committee and agricultural stakeholders regarding current programs in the farm bill.  

House Committee on Agriculture Announces Farm Bill Session in Modesto

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.
 

House Committee on Agriculture to Host Listening Sessions in Texas & Minnesota

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.
 

House Rejects Farm Bill - Future Uncertain for Organic and Other Programs

As the farm bill process has twisted and turned, it’s been hard to predict what comes next.  Today, in a turn of events that surprised many, the House voted down the farm bill. The $940 billion bill was weak on organic and other sustainable agriculture priorities, but having no bill may be even worse. The USDA is currently acting under an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, which expires in September. Under the extension, many programs important to CCOF members, such as the Organic Certification Cost Share program, are not available.

Investments in Climate Smart Agriculture Delayed

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.

Join CCOF April 12 for Free Webinar on AB 1826, The California Organic Food and Farming Act

CCOF invites you to join an informational webinar on AB 1826—The California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA)—a bill introduced by California Assemblymember Mark Stone to level the playing field for California’s organic producers and update the role of the State Organic Program.

Join UNFI’s Melody Meyer in Supporting the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Melody Meyer
 
I have been honored to be the executive director for the UNFI Foundation since its inception in 2012. Early on, my board asked me how we could bring together likeminded foundations to make a larger impact in our priority areas together as a community. 
 

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