The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) this week has launched an initiative to reclaim the word “milk” on food labels. To learn more and sign an ADC petition in favor of keeping milk defined as it is, click here.
You can also read about the initiative by clicking on this link, https://www.milkbusiness.com/article/american-dairy-coalition-launches-initiative-to-reclaim-milk-label.
NOSB Fall 2017 Livestock Recommendations for Comment
Issued by CCOF:
Dairy Grazing Season Clarification
May 15, 2017
To all CCOF-certified dairy producers,
We appreciate the incredibly hard work and dedication it takes to operate an organic dairy.
Many of you are aware of media reports regarding pasture practices at a dairy in Colorado. We are not aware of any information beyond those reports. However, we are committed to maintaining consumer confidence in organic, and promise to do our part to ensure your hard work is not in vain. As we progress through the grazing season this year, we thought it appropriate to reiterate our expectations regarding grazing practices under the USDA National Organic Program Standards.
The intent of the organic livestock standards is to provide a healthy pasture-based system ensuring maximum grazing throughout the grazing season for organic animals. Operations should not prevent, withhold, restrain, or otherwise restrict ruminant animals from actively grazing pasture during the grazing season except for specific conditions such as inclement weather, animal health and safety, or the animal’s stage of life. Importantly, we will be monitoring and working with operations to ensure that they make full use of their regional grazing season, pasture potential, and the resources and tools available to ensure a robust grazing system.
Due to variance in geographical pasture systems, and to guarantee that organic ruminants receive at least 30 percent of their diet from pasture during the grazing season, minimum pasture requirements were set in the National Organic Standards. To prevent minimums from becoming the bar, operations are required to maximize grazing potential as appropriate to the region and climate. Additionally, they cannot withhold pasture from ruminants unless specific conditions are met. Operations with unique conditions, access to irrigation, or who are subject to weather and pasture health that supports grazing outside the anticipated grazing season or after 120 days are expected to make use of those opportunities to the fullest extent possible.
If temporary confinement is used, the reasons for confinement must be outlined in your Organic System Plan approved by CCOF, and documented when confinement occurs.
Over the next 12 months we may focus inspections on pasture observations and verify appropriateness of the grazing season based on the operation’s unique conditions, location and resources. All organic operations should have systems in place to ensure optimal grazing. Operations should also ensure records regarding confinement from pasture during the grazing season are maintained, complete, and sufficient to verify compliance with the standard. We understand that every operation is unique, every region has unique challenges, and every year has changing climatic conditions. These nuances underscore the significance of good records that document these instances.
We are happy to work with you to address specific concerns or discuss your situation as each year evolves. If you have any questions, please contact the CCOF Livestock Department by reaching out to your certification service specialist.
We value the work you do and hope to make it meaningful for years to come.
 Allowed reasons for temporary confinement under the USDA Organic Standards are described in 205.239(b) and (c.)
 See 205.237(b)(8) of 205.239(b) and (c).
Dear Organic Dairy Producer and Supporters:
WODPA respectfully requests that you act now to stop the proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order. COMMENTS RECEIVED AFTER APRIL 19 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Please submit your comments to the USDA today via internet at: http://www.regulations.gov. In the search box enter AMS-SC-16-0112.
In your comment we ask that you include the following statements:
I support WODPA’s comments in opposition to the proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order.
Should this proposed program go to referendum, I will vote NO!
Thank you for acting on this urgent matter.
Initial WODPA legal action results in hold on OTA/USDA National Certified Transitional Program and Transitional Cost Share.
WODPA will continue to monitor the situation and will take further action if the USDA proceeds with the National Certified Transitional Program, in any form, or the Transitional Cost Share Program.
Milk in California; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions on Proposal To Establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order
AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.
ACTION: Proposed rule and opportunity to file exceptions.
SUMMARY: This Recommended Decision proposes the issuance of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California. The proposed FMMO incorporates the entire state of California and would adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used throughout the current FMMO system. The proposed FMMO provides for the recognition of producer quota as administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the order.
DATES: Written exceptions to this proposed rule must be submitted on or before May 15, 2017. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection burden must be received by April 17, 2017. AMS will conduct a public meeting on February 22, 2017, to review the rulemaking process, explain and answer questions relating to how the proposed California FMMO would operate, and inform the public how they can submit public comments for consideration.
ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted at the Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be filed with the Hearing Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 1031–S, Washington, DC 20250–9200, Facsimile number (202) 720–9976. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Hearing Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov. The public meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building, 808 Fourth Street, Clovis, California 93612. Additional meeting information can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/caorder.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Taylor, Acting Director, Order Formulation and Enforcement Division, USDA/AMS/Dairy Program, STOP 0231, Room 2969–S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250–0231, (202) 720–7311, email address: email@example.com.
Final Rule - Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices”. Published January 19, 2017. The Final Rule is effective March 20, 2017. Dairy producers must be in full compliance by March 20, 2018. Click Here to view
USDA has published a proposed Organic Check-Off and proposed check-off referendum procedures. Comments on both proposals are due to USDA by March 20, 2017.
WODPA finds this OTA sponsored Check-off proposal and the proposed referendum procedures to be bad for organic dairy producers and bad for milk handlers and processors.
WODPA encourages all organic dairy producers and organic milk handlers and processors to:
1. Comment on both proposals.
2. Tell USDA that they plan to vote NO in referendum
Message to on-line readers:
After the Integrity was sent to the printer, WODPA discovered inconsistencies in USDA’s proposed animal welfare regulatory text. In many instances the regulatory text in their preamble tables differs from that which is proposed for publication in the Code of Federal Regulations. We have edited 18 provisions in this on-line version of the Integrity to make our tables consistent with the regulatory text proposed for publication in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Dear Western Organic Dairy Producer:
Please read below and contact your U.S. Senator, TODAY!
This morning WODPA’s Executive Director reached out to Montana Senator Jon Tester’s Legislative Assistant (Justin Folsom) informing him, via email, that WODPA opposes the attached proposed Senate Bill which would require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods. This bill, which OTA is said to have had a hand in drafting, is far too weak to be considered. It allows manufacturers to skate on all GMO ingredients that are in a product but are not the most prominent ingredient. There could be 6 ingredients of which 5 are GMO but the manufacturer would not have to disclose the GMO status because the primary ingredient (which could be much less than half the total) is not GMO. Further, the definition of Bioengineered is very weak, narrow, and does not include all technologies covered by the National Organic Program definition for excluded methods. The bill would require complex rulemaking, studies and audits by USDA; all of which are unnecessary. The bill would allow digital link disclosure which very few consumers would likely utilize. Imagine yourself using your cell phone to check labels for the presence of GMO’s. NOT likely?
Mr. Folsom was informed that WODPA believes that the standard must:
1. Require a GMO symbol placed on the principal display panel,
2. Define genetically modify organisms (GMO) using the excluded methods definition found in Part 205.2 of the National Organic Program Regulations.
That definition reads:
“A variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes and are not considered compatible with organic production. Such methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology). Such methods do not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture.”
3. Require that all ingredients that are the product of genetically modify organisms, listed in the ingredients statement, be identified with an asterisk. The asterisk would be defined at the end of the ingredient statement as meaning "GMO.” Unprocessed genetically modify commodities would be required to be labeled as GMO.
We need GMO labeling. We need truth in labeling. We need transparent, truthful labeling. Our asks accomplish each of the preceding.
The bill does not need to be long and it does not need complex rulemaking, studies and audits by USDA. The bill needs to be straight forward; define GMO and state how products of GMO are to be identified.
Mr. Folsom was informed that WODPA does not object to proposed sections 295 or 296, which deal with Federal Preemption and Exclusion from Federal Preemption. These items are addressed on the last page of the attached draft bill. WODPA’s non-objection to these provisions is contingent on WODPA’s recommendations being accepted.
Finally, Mr. Folsom was informed that WODPA is a nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation. Our purpose is to enable organic dairy farmers, situated across an extensive area in the west, to maintain the sustainability of organic dairy farming. We represent over 275 organic dairy farm families throughout the Western United States. Organic dairy production in the western states accounts for over half of the Nation’s milking cows and milk production. WODPA is the ONLY organic dairy organization working specifically for organic dairymen in the Western United States.
Again, Please contact your U.S. Senator, TODAY!
Richard H. Mathews
Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
WODPA is extremely disappointed with OTA’s supportive comments to the NOSB Livestock Committee regarding the use of paraciticides in organic livestock production. WODPA views the NOSB proposal as an attempt to weaken the organic standards by expanding the use of parasiticides and limiting milk withdrawal to two days after the use of Fenbendazole and Moxidectin. A mere two day milk withdrawal endangers the credibility of organic dairy’s quality by risking parasiticide contamination of organic milk.
WODPA fully supports consumer expectation that organic milk and other dairy products to be free of antibiotics, growth hormones and other chemicals such as parasiticides. Accordingly,
WODPA supports restricting parasiticide use to only by or on the lawful written order of a licensed veterinarian as emergency treatment to save the life of the animal. Further, WODPA strongly opposes off-label use of parasiticides in organic livestock production.
For further information, please see the attached document “WODPA Livestock Materials Comments April 14 2016.pdf” linked below.
Organic dairy production in the western states accounts for over half of the Nation’s milking cows and milk production.
WODPA is the ONLY organic dairy organization working specifically for organic dairymen in the Western United States on issues such as this.
OTA does not speak on behalf of Western Organic Dairy Producers.
Richard H. Mathews
Western Organic Diary Producers Alliance
Due to a glitch in the Department of Human Resources website, the online application tool was not working for this position until the glitch was discovered last week. We made the decision to extend the application period, in case anyone attempted but was unable to apply during the time frame that the site was not working properly. This position will close next Wednesday, September 30th, 2015. Please feel free to distribute to anyone who may be interested. Anyone who has already applied need not reapply. This is simply an extension of the closing date.
I have also received several questions regarding whether this position is full time, and what the temporary designation indicates. This position is full time (40 hours/week with some overtime possible) and benefitted (state health insurance and will also be earning “Credited State Service Hours” toward retirement with state PERSI retirement). ISDA will be pursuing making this position permanent during the 2016 legislative session, so there is a good chance this position will extend beyond the initial appointment to become a permanent position, pending legislative approval.
Johanna Phillips, Organic Program Manager
Idaho State Department of Agriculture
Desk: (208) 332-8539 Fax: (208) 334-2170
ISDA is recruiting a Temporary Ag Investigator, Sr. for the ISDA Organic Program, to be located in the Magic Valley or Eastern Idaho, depending on the successful candidate selected and program need. This position will be benefitted and full time, with the potential that the position will become permanent. If you know anyone who may be interested, please have them apply through the announcement linked in this email. This announcement will be open until September 23, 2015.
Please direct questions or comments to:
Johanna Phillips, Organic Program Manager
Idaho State Department of Agriculture
Desk: (208) 332-8539 Fax: (208) 334-2170
WODPA Alternative Check-Off Proposal
OTA and its GRO Organic Core Committee have submitted an application to USDA for an Organic Check-Off program.
WODPA asks that all dairy producers:
(1) Review the full application (especially the regulatory text).
(2) Send WODPA a written statement addressing your position on the proposal as well as any concerns and recommendations.
(3) Send your written comments to Richard H. Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 24, 2015. The comments will be compiled into a comment to the NOP, on behalf of Western Organic Dairy Producers.