policy

NOSB Accepting Comments Through October 1 on the Fall 2020 Meeting Agenda

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their virtual fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, are approaching! We encourage members of the organic community to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items.

Take Action to Save Organic Cost Share

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that they are reducing reimbursement rates for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Congress set the current reimbursement rates in the 2018 Farm Bill at 75 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $750 per scope. FSA plans to lower the rate to 50 percent of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. This reduction comes in the middle of a global crisis, at a time when it is critical to support our organic farms as essential to our recovery.

Healthy Soils Organic Transition Option Moves Forward: Comment Opportunity

Numerous scientific studies show that organic farming improves soil health and builds soil organic matter, which sequesters carbon in the soil and helps mitigate climate change. 

This makes organic farming a good match for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program, which offers three-year grants to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that build soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

National Young Farmers Coalition Recruiting Farmers for Political Leadership Fellowship

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.

CDFA Releases Proposed Rule for Comparable-to-Organic Cannabis Program

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. 

Calling All Organic Livestock Producers!

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.

Regional Water Board Moves Forward with New Ag Order; Public Workshops Announced

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. 

A Conversation on Why Organic Matters with the Farm to Table Talk Podcast

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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.