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Organic Funding Opportunities Now Open for Applications

Two grantmaking programs that fund organic work are now open for proposals.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is accepting research proposals.

Organic Plant Breeding Comes to UC Davis

It is a challenge for organic growers in California to find seed varieties that perform well in organic conditions, due to the fact that most plant breeding has been done for conventional production. This need for organic-specific vegetable varieties is being addressed by a new organic plant breeding project at the University of California, Davis, funded by a federal Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant.

Organic Trade Association Seeks Court Hearing in Animal Welfare Standards Lawsuit

The Organic Trade Association wants its day in court. The association on Wednesday requested that oral arguments be heard on its lawsuit against the USDA over the department's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards. The request comes as the case is gaining significant momentum and as more organic businesses and stakeholders take action and speak out in support of the lawsuit.
 

OTA to Honor CCOF Leaders at Expo East

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will honor three outstanding CCOF leaders at its upcoming annual Organic Leadership Awards Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 2018 during Natural Products Expo East. Javier Zamora of CCOF-certified JSM Organics will receive the Rising Star Award.

Out-of-State Sales Now Taxable in Some States

Organic seed producers and companies making out-of-state sales may be impacted by the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The decision allows states to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state.

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 of CCOF Certification Services Speaks on Organic Import Panel at NOSB Meeting

CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain. 
 
“We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks. 
 

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.

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