Congressman Valadao Welcomes Organic Advocates to His Hanford Office

A group of certified organic farmers and CCOF staff met with United States Representative David Valadao when he was in Hanford during the Congressional spring recess. 
President of CCOF’s Fresno-Tulare chapter Dwayne Cardoza joined with fellow organic growers Ted Loewen, Jim Parsons, and Steve Beck to talk with Valadao about how the Organic Certification Cost Share Program is important, particularly for newly transitioned organic farmers and small- to mid-scale farmers in California who must pay state registration fees as well as organic certification fees. The need for organic data gathered through the Organic Data Initiative was also on the agenda.
CCOF Director of Policy and Government Affairs Kelly Damewood and Senior Policy Specialist Jane Sooby also participated in the meeting. 
Valadao is Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and helped ensure that the FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed in March includes increased funding for 
  • the National Organic Program (from $9 million to $12 million),
  • the Organic Transitions research program (from $4 million to $5 million),
  • the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program (from $27 million to $35 million), and
  • the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (from $375 million to $400 million).