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Survey: California Farms Face Continuing Employee Shortages

farmworkers
Despite taking a variety of steps to alleviate chronic shortages of agricultural employees, California farmers and ranchers continue to report problems in hiring enough people for on-farm jobs.

SWEEP Program Open for Applications through March 14

Grant applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are now being accepted through March 14, 2017. SWEEP provides financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement irrigation systems that save water and energy while reducing greenhouse gases on California agricultural operations.

Take Action to Defend Organic Standards and Animal Welfare

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.
 

Take Action to Protect NOP Funding!

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.
 

Take Action to Save Organic Cost Share

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that they are reducing reimbursement rates for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Congress set the current reimbursement rates in the 2018 Farm Bill at 75 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $750 per scope. FSA plans to lower the rate to 50 percent of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope.

Take Action to Support Origin of Livestock Rulemaking

Now is the time to support the implementation of the long-overdue Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The rule would ensure clear and enforceable requirements for the sourcing of organic dairy herds by requiring new dairy animals to be managed organically from at least the last third of gestation. The organic community has advocated for this rule for many years. Inconsistent interpretation of the current rule has put some farmers at a disadvantage in an already struggling industry. On October 1, 2019, the USDA reopened the rule’s public comment period.

Taylor Brothers Farms Gives Back to the CCOF Foundation

John Taylor
Photo: John Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Brothers Farms
 
While prunes may not be #trending the way we’ve seen kale, sweet potatoes, or açai trend in recent years, prunes have reclaimed their status as a superfood in farmers’ markets across the globe. Prunes provide countless benefits for their consumers.

The CCOF Foundation Can Make it Easier for Organic Producers to Survive

Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm.

The CCOF Foundation Honors Dr. Karen Klonsky as Organic Champion

Karen Klonsky Ecuador B
Dr. Karen Klonsky spent a lifetime championing organic. The CCOF Foundation will honor her work and spirit at the CCOF Foundation Feast on December 4 at the Organic Grower Summit. 
 
Klonsky was a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). For 35 years, Klonsky collaborated with both Californian and international agricultural stakeholders.

The Farm Project’s Jacob Pechenik to Keynote CCOF Foundation Feast at OGS

Jacob Pechenik, photographed by Claire Schaper
Photo credit: Claire Schaper and Max Wanger
 
Jacob Pechenik of The Farm Project and Lettuce Grow will keynote the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit.

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