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California State Board of Food & Agriculture to Discuss Farm Labor, Rural Job Development, and Workforce Training Needs at April 4th Meeting

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural labor issues, rural job development, and opportunities for career technical education at its upcoming meeting on April 4, 2017, in Sacramento. Over the next 5-10 years, on-farm automation and research will impact the agricultural sector, creating a need for rural job development and technical training for farm workers in communities across the state. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

California State Water Board Accepting Comments on Cannabis Regs

California’s new cannabis regulations are being crafted by numerous state agencies. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has issued two documents for review, the Cannabis Cultivation Policy and the General Order. Comments on each document are due Sept. 6, 2017, by noon Pacific time.
 

California’s Groundwater Law Empowers Regional Management Groups

In the wake of 2014’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), counties, water management districts, and other water agencies around the state are organizing regional groups to formulate plans by the year 2020 that will guide groundwater management with the goal of achieving sustainable use by the year 2040.

California’s Healthy Soils Program Open for Public Comment

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing a Healthy Soils Program that has two objectives: to build soil carbon and reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions through incentives and demonstrations to farmers. CDFA now invites comment on the proposed framework for this program through March 1, 2017. Submit comments to cdfa.oefi@cdfa.ca.gov.

California’s New Organic Law Now in Effect

On January 1, 2017, the CCOF-sponsored California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA) went into effect. This law updates the California State Organic Program (SOP) by streamlining registration for farmers, reducing registration fees for small organic farmers, and making changes to the role of the state’s organic advisory committee.

Call for Applications to the California Cannabis Advisory Committee

The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) is now accepting applications for the Cannabis Advisory Committee.

Applications are available online.

The committee will advise the BMCR, California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, and California Department of Public Heath’s Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety on both the medical and adult recreational use of cannabis.

Call your Assemblymember – Support Climate Change Solutions!

Our State Legislature is taking on the future of California’s climate change laws and we need you to weigh in!

Will California continue to embrace increased renewable energy production, smart growth that protects our farmland, and sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change? Or will the oil industry prevail and prevent needed solutions to greater weather extremes and rising temperatures?

Call Your State Conservationist Today and Give Valuable Input!

CCOF encourages growers who implement conservation practices to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS is undertaking a major “reboot” of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which will be implemented at the beginning of 2016. This “reboot” is an important opportunity for farmers to provide feedback to the NRCS. Specifically, CCOF is encouraging the NRCS to make the following improvements to CSP:

Cap-and-Trade Extension Bills Debated in Sacramento

Legislators in Sacramento are currently debating three different bills which would extend and alter the California Cap-and-Trade Program.

CCOF Advocates for Organic Research at Agency Listening Session

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.
 

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