Blog posts by Kelly Damewood

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 9, 2015 on CalCAN, events

The 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit On March 24 & 25, the 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit will take place in Davis, CA. The Summit is organized by California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a coalition of the state’s leading sustainable agriculture organizations and farmer allies that came together out of climate change concerns. They mainly focus on climate change impacts on California agriculture and methods to advance sustainable agricultural solutions to a changing climate. At the Summit, you will learn the latest science, policy, and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 2, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until March 13 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 23, 2015 on general organic

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. And organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on advocacy, CCOF, events, policy


Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy. The dedication and diversity among Policy Day participants was truly inspirational. The list of advocates included some of our longest certified members, new and beginning farmers, interested consumers, and people involved in food and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until February 27 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 9, 2015 on policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through February 17, 2015. The Proposed Exemption The proposed rule includes significant expansions to the organic exemption from federal check-off programs. It allows split operations, e.g. operations with both organic and conventional production, to seek exemptions. It also expands the exemption to both the 100% organic label and to the primary organic label (95% organic)....
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 9, 2015 on CalCAN, events

The early bird registration rates for the California Climate & Agriculture Summit on March 24 & 25, 2015 in Davis, CA have been extended to February 20. Register here! The Summit is a gathering of farmers and ranchers, scientists, advocates, agriculture professionals and policymakers to share knowledge and work towards solutions to our climate crisis. The themes of this year’s Summit include: 1.  Coping with drought     2.  Soil building 3.  Farmland conservation  Other features of the Summit include: A farm tour of three Yolo County farms on March 24 15 breakout sessions with over 50...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 2, 2015 on policy

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 19, 2015 on policy


CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015 on advocacy, policy, research, State Organic Program

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations. CCOF’s findings will be compiled in a comprehensive report titled The California Organics Review...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 8, 2014 on food safety, policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on its recently updated food safety rules now through December 15. To comment, CCOF highly recommends that you use the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comment template and instructions. The updated rules include significant changes, such as: revised water testing standards, deferred manure treatment standards, and  a more collaborative approach to regulating parts of mixed-type facilities — e.g. operations that grow, pack, and/or process on the farm. FDA issued the updated rules after receiving...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 24, 2014 on genetic engineering, policy


CCOF joined individuals and groups representing some 57 million Americans in signing a letter that warns citizens, politicians, and regulators in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the European Union about the hazards of genetically modified crops (GMOs). The letter describes the history of GMOs in the United States, including the struggle of farmers and concerned citizens to increase oversight and regulation of GMO crops. The letter not only points out environmental concerns, but it also notes that GMO drift continues to plague non-GMO producers across the United States. CCOF proudly...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 17, 2014 on policy

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) recently released its 2014 Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs. The guide is a free digital resource for farmers, conservationists, and other members of the sustainable agriculture and food community. The comprehensive guide breaks down federal programs and policies into plain-language explanations and includes valuable resources. The guide is organized into nine chapters and details over 40 federal food and farm programs, along with a quick-reference overview chart, glossary, and other resources – all accessible via NSAC’s...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 3, 2014 on NOSB, policy

Last week, several CCOF staff and members attended the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Louisville, Kentucky to share their expertise and weigh in on the future of organic standards. The NOSB meets biannually to review organic standards and to determine what recommendations it will make to the National Organic Program (NOP) for future rulemaking. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these meetings because they have the opportunity speak and share their opinions on farming and processing inputs and practices. CCOF also participated in the National Organic Coalition’...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 3, 2014 on policy

On October 31, CCOF submitted a public comment to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) regarding its draft Statewide Plant Pest Prevention and Management Program (the Statewide Program) Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). CDFA implements the Statewide Program to prevent the introduction and spread of injurious insect pests, plant diseases, and noxious weeds in California. For the Statewide Program, CDFA uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, which is the coordinated use of information about pest biology, the host environments, and available control methods to...

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