Blog posts by policy

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, July 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The National Young Farmers Coalition is now accepting applications for the newly created California Young Farmer Political Leadership Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to support young farmers in gaining positions in and influence on California policy boards, agricultural advocacy groups, local water districts, conservation districts, and other decision-making bodies. Young farmers who identify as being a part of a community that has been marginalized by policy-making such as Black, Indigenous, or other People of Color are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the National...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released proposed regulations for the OCal program. The OCal program will be a statewide certification program to certify cannabis under a program based on the National Organic Program (NOP). Currently, federal laws prevent the certification of cannabis under the NOP and the labeling of cannabis as organic.  CDFA is seeking public comments on the proposed regulations until July 7, 2020. Read the proposed regulations and submit a comment. The CCOF Policy team is developing detailed comments on the proposed rule. We will urge CDFA to...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, livestock, policy

CCOF invites all organic livestock producers to share experiences, challenges, and needs related to organic livestock production, from market barriers to difficulties accessing certified organic processing plants, other infrastructure needs, and beyond. The CCOF Policy Team is researching solutions to top issues facing livestock producers, and we want to hear from you! We know that organic livestock producers are critical stewards of pasture and rangelands across the U.S. and that producers also face many unique challenges. Please email us at policy@ccof.org or call 415-346-6223 to share your...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, events, general organic, policy, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board) has released a draft Agricultural Order 4.0 to take the place of the existing order, which expires January 31, 2021. The Central Coast Water Board will hold three virtual workshops on June 2, June 3, and June 4 to explain the new Agricultural Order, review its monitoring and reporting requirements, and provide information about the draft environmental impact report. Links to join each workshop are listed below.  The workshops will be broadcast via Zoom, which may be accessed via computer or telephone. Attendees...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


I sat down with Farm to Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to discuss why organic matters with him. We dove right into CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges. From the climate crisis to economic and health inequities, I walked Wasson through organic’s role in addressing these issues, and more. Let’s consider climate change, for example. We know that organic farms combat climate change because they build healthy soils that store carbon and reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unique responses by federal, state, and local governments. This legislative update provides a brief snapshot of some key state and federal policy areas CCOF is monitoring.  USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program On Thursday, May 14, USDA hosted a webinar to introduce producers to the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar recording can be viewed via Zoom. USDA has said that it will release applications soon. The CFAP website has initial instructions to prepare producers to apply, including contacting your local...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadline for nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! USDA is seeking:– Two individuals who own or operate an organic farming operation, or employees of such individuals– Two individuals who represent public interest or consumer interest groups– One individual who is a USDA-accredited certifying agent Nominations must be submitted by June 1, 2020 and include a resume and an AD-755 Application form. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Earlier this month the National Organic Program (NOP) announced that the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held remotely. The board will hold their meeting starting on Wednesday, April 29 and concluding on Thursday, April 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To tune in, register online.  NOSB meetings are biannual, held in the spring and fall, to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and the organic standards. At the spring meeting, NOSB begins their yearly Sunset Review process...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) members. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1, 2020. Nominations must include a resume, an AD-755 Application form, and may also include a cover letter and references. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership, which includes having a general understanding of organic principles, practical experience in the organic community, demonstrated experience in the development of public policy, participation in standard development, and more. To apply, submit the application materials electronically to michelle....
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, March 30, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, policy

As communities come together to build resilience in this deeply challenging time, CCOF is compiling resources that support our members and the organic community. Visit our Crisis Resilience Resources webpage for links to helpful resources for organic businesses. Check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this page with new resources as we learn about them.  We are working with partners, allies, and other organizations to gather useful information for the community. You can help by sharing links to additional resources by emailing policy@ccof.org.  Share with us how COVID-19 has impacted you...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and the other NOSB agenda items.  The National Organic Program recently announced that the spring 2020 meeting will be held remotely. CCOF will share more details as they are announced.  The following substances are up for review for re-...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


Photo cred Tommy Martino_Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

Tommy Martino, Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle (left) on the Grain by Grain book tour 2019. As an organic farmer at home in Montana of over 30 years, I see firsthand the bounty created from tending to the land in an organic manner. Butterflies, bees, ladybugs, birds, and countless other creatures are drawn to the land tended organically. Those who work on the soil every day can feel its soft, supple nature underneath their boots. The palpable feeling of health and vitality pouring out of an organic farm is unmatched. That said, there is also science to stand behind the claim that organic is a more...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Arlington, Virginia April 29-May 1, 2020. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Virginia. The board will be discussing many topics at the meeting, including Sunset Reviews, materials petitions, discussion documents, and proposals.  The NOSB will host two webinars on April 21, 2020 and April 23, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 3, 2020. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

On February 26, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), an ambitious piece of legislation that proposes a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. agriculture by 2040. The bill focuses on policy goals in the following six areas: increasing research, improving soil health, protecting existing farmland, supporting pasture-based livestock systems, boosting investments in on-farm energy initiatives, and reducing food waste. Specific targets in the plan include cutting emissions from ruminant livestock by at least half, restoring half of the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap

Healthy Soils Program Requests for Applications Released Acknowledging the many benefits of improved soil quality, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) initiated the Healthy Soils Program in 2017, which offers grants to farmers and ranchers to implement new soil-building practices on their land. CDFA recently opened the Healthy Soils Program for 2020 applications. Applications for the Incentives Program will be accepted on a rolling basis until 5 p.m. PT on June 26, 2020, or until available funds are expended, whichever comes first. Applications for Demonstration Projects...

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