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Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers

(January 29, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a farm bill that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming days. 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.

"Farm Bill Journey" Commences with Senate Ag Committee Hearing in Kansas

The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held its first 2018 Farm Bill hearing in Manhattan, Kansas, on February 23, 2017, kicking off what committee chair Pat Roberts (R-KS) characterized as the “farm bill journey.”

$12.2 Million Available in USDA Funding for Rural Microentrepreneurs

Last week, USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of loan and grant funds to support rural microenterprises. Many CCOF operations fit the profiles of what could be funded under this micro-granting program.

A Farm Bill for Our Future

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.      

CDFA Wants to Hear Your Farm Bill Priorities

Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Karen Ross will host five listening sessions on the forthcoming 2018 Farm Bill. The listening sessions are an opportunity to provide input and recommendations on California’s federal policy and program priorities.

Farm Bill Expires Today

Much to the dismay of sustainable agriculture advocates across the nation, the farm bill expires today. For those outside of the agricultural sector, this may have been overshadowed by the budget debate and the looming threat of a government shutdown. 

Federal Activity on Organic Abounds

Since the farm bill has been signed by President Obama, CCOF is looking forward to implementation of the programs that support the organic sector.

Meanwhile, organic efforts are moving forward on many federal fronts. Here are the details:

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.

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