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Please Share Your Farm Bill Priorities

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in OTA’s Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Major topics that are addressed in the survey include production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension barriers; and past Farm Bill evaluation.

Post-Fiscal Cliff Farm Bill Update

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry.

President Signs Farm Bill into Law

Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers

Today, President Obama signed a farm bill into law that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. Among the wins for organic was the National Organic Certification Cost Share program, a main focus of CCOF’s policy work last year through visits to Congress members and dozens of emails and calls by CCOF members. 

Preventing GMO Presence in Organic Products

In an environment where Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives are widely distributed throughout the food chain, it is imperative that organic producers and handlers have strategies and plans to keep them out. A key tenet of "coexistence" is shared responsibility for the exclusion of the methods and products of genetic engineering.

Proposed Seed Company Mergers: Bad News for Organic Farmers

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse.

Public Input Sought on Medical Cannabis Cultivation

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program (MCCP) is conducting a series of workshops to gather public input on a licensing program for medical cannabis cultivators.

Eight workshops will be convened at various locations in the state beginning September 13, 2016. The full schedule is online.

Reminder: NOSB Comment Period Open through October 26

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting agenda and supporting materials are available for review and public comment. 

The NOSB will meet in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18, 2016. Written comments and signups for oral comment are due October 26. 

The NOSB will discuss and vote on many important topics, including: 

Rodale Celebrates 35th Year of Farming Systems Trial

The Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania began a side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming back in 1981. Today, the data collected in Rodale’s Farming Systems Trial show that organic farming produces competitive yields, builds higher levels of soil organic matter, retains more soil moisture, and is more profitable compared to conventional practices.

Sacramento Bee Publishes Article Supporting the California Organic Food and Farming Act

CCOF Board of Directors member and organic farmer Thaddeus Barsotti wrote an opinion piece supporting the California Organic Food and Farming Act (AB 1826) that was published in the Sacramento Bee on March 8, 2016.

Writing, “There is no group of people who wish to maintain the integrity of the certified organic label more than farmers,” Barsotti presented the reasons he supports CCOF’s effort to reform California’s State Organic Program through legislation.

Senate Ag Committee Moves AB 1826 Closer to Becoming Law

“The bill is out, congratulations.”

California state senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), chair of the California Senate Committee on Agriculture, spoke these words as the committee voted AB 1826, the California Organic Food and Farming Act, out of committee on June 21. AB 1826 now heads to the California Senate Appropriations Committee.


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