An Auckland Excursion and The Brilliance of Kiwi Ingenuity

NZ TreeAfter traveling through the rich green-scape of the North Island of New Zealand, I must turn myself away from geothermal explorations and culinary indulgences. It’s time for reentry into the stratosphere of business for a brief two days. Continue reading

What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Organic?

Capitol HillI write from the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. While I was eating kamura wedges and savoring corn fritters, the people of the US were deciding who would represent them in the halls of Congress. I placed my vote via absentee ballot just before I left.

These red-hot midterms sparked historic turnout. Over 114 million Americans cast their votes. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate in the next 116th Congress while the House will shift to Democratic leadership.

These changes will certainly lead to shifts in federal policymaking and could set the stage for friction between the two chambers as well as the executive branch.

How did Organic Champions Faire? Continue reading

Who Will Fund the Challenges Facing Organic Today?

Rain on plant

The political winds are against us. We are in an era of stagnating and dwindling regulatory oversight by the current administration.

Organic seems to be floundering in its own juices.

Trump’s USDA withdrew the final animal welfare rule that consumers and legitimate producers all agreed upon for over decade.

The administration meddled with the NOSB’s work plan, withdrawing work on Aquaculture, Apiculture and Pet Food. There will be no regulations to advance organic in these areas in the near future.

They killed the idea of a check-off that would have raised much-needed funds to bolster our still adolescent industry.

This is indeed an unfriendly crew cutting and slashing rules and opportunities that organic wants. Continue reading

Time to Exhale, Organic Cannabis Regulations are Coming

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In June 2017 the California Legislature passed SB 94 which made the recreational use of cannabis products legal for adults over 21 years of age. Since cannabis is an agricultural product, it was left to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to stand up the regulations.

Buried deep inside the hundreds of pages of text was a clause that mandated CDFA to create an organic cannabis program by 2021.

The time remaining will go by like a whiff of smoke and CDFA is quickly preparing to meet the deadline.

Continue reading

Mt. Hood Organic Farms: Biodynamic Is In Their DNA

Peter's Mt AdamsNestled in the upper region of the Hood River Valley lies 55 acres of biodynamic apples and pears. Carefully tended by Brady and John Jacobson, Mt. Hood Organic Farms was first certified organic back in 1989. They were early pioneers being the first farm in Oregon to achieve that status.

Yearning to achieve a deeper meaning of organic, they began integrating the entire 200-acre property and its natural landscape and wildlife into their farming practices. It’s always been in their DNA, so it was natural to become a Demeter certified Biodynamic® farm which incorporates natural land stewardship. Continue reading