Category Archives: Uncategorized

Public Hearing on the amendment to Maine’s Food Sovereignty Law – Friday, October 20th

The Public Hearing on the amendment to Maine’s Food Sovereignty Law will be: Friday, October 20th, 9:30 am. Rm 214 Cross Office Bldg. in Augusta.

You can find the original bill at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0242&item=6&snum=128 look for LD 725.

The two possible amendments being discussed are shown below. Please contact your legislator or come to the hearing to make your voice heard!

Number one: “An ordinance shall not apply to any food products that are required to comply with any federal agency’s regulatory jurisdiction including, but not limited to meat & poultry, dairy products regulated by the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, fish & seafood, cider or juice, low acid canned foods or acidified foods.”

Number two:  LD1648 – An Act to Amend the Law Recognizing Local Control Regarding Food Systems and Require Compliance with Federal and State Food Safety Regulations

 

NCAT Grower Survey

The 2014 Farm Bill required the USDA to create premium organic price elections for all commodities and to offer a new insurance product—Whole-Farm Revenue Protection.

We are conducting a national survey of needs and attitudes, in order to make recommendations to the USDA on further improvements to crop insurance for organic, diversified, and specialty crop growers.

That survey closes October 31, 2017.

Please take a confidential 20-minute survey at www.ncat.org/cropinsurance. And share the link with friends and colleagues; here’s a social media post you can use.

Anyone farming or ranching commercially in the United States is eligible to participate, and we are offering a $20 honorarium to early respondents.The survey can be taken on any computer, smart phone, or other mobile device. To preview the survey before taking it, go to www.ncat.org/surveypreview.

For more information, click here or e-mail cropinsurance@ncat.org.

Save the Date! Rally in the Valley – Oct 15th

An important meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will take place this November in Jacksonville, FL. Most important on the docket is a vote on allowing hydroponics to be certified as organic, contradicting the original organic insistence that food be grown in soil. With very large players circling in the foreground, all of whom would profit substantially from a relaxation of standards, this meeting represents an existential crisis for organic, and particularly for farmers who concentrate on local, organic, real food. Opening the floodgates to hydroponic will be followed by larger issues of relaxation and make matters worse in the not too distant future.

Dave Chapman, an organic tomato (soil-based) grower in Vermont, is leading a series of rallies around the country in October in preparation for a showdown in Jacksonville.

We will hold a rally in Maine on Sunday, October 15, at noon in Stacy Brenner and John Bliss’ Broadturn Farm (388 Broadturn Rd, Scarborough, ME 04047).

We will be professionally filming the entire rally and will send our video to Dave’s national campaign, where it will be joined by videos from all the other rallies.

We need your attention, your support, and your time.

Please reply to Sam May at sam@ddragonllc.com or 207-653-2260 with confirmation that you can attend and/or help.

  1. You’ll attend the Rally (10/15/17 at 12pm)
  2. Contact 5-10 of your farmer friends and encourage them to attend.
  3. Bring a Tractor to Broadturn (we may be able to cover cost of diesel)
  4. Share our social media information with your customers and network

Farm Bill Fridays

The House Agriculture Committee on Friday launched a new video series entitled “Farm Bill Friday,” and said it would release a new video from members of the House Conference weekly highlighting the importance of a strong Farm Bill for all Americans. Watch committee member Congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska kick off the Farm Bill Friday series.

More time proposed for produce water standards

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing extending compliance deadlines on Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) provisions for produce water standards. Finalized in 2015, the water standards aim at keeping deadly pathogens like E. coli 0157:H7 out of water used to grow crops by increasing testing and monitoring efforts. The proposed extension appeared Wednesday in the Federal Register. FDA said it would extend compliance deadlines after receiving feedback from farmers and other stakeholders that more time is necessary to ensure farmers have the necessary training and information to comply and that states establish strong produce regulatory programs before inspections begin. To learn more about the Organic Trade Association’s role in shaping food safety regulations, visit our food safety web page. The proposed rule is open for public comment until November 13.

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Unusable Pesticides

AUGUSTA— This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help Mainers dispose of unusable and waste pesticides. The Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and funded through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 99 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.

This free annual program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collections will occur at four sites: Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland. Participants must pre-register by September 29, 2017. Drop-ins are not permitted. The collected chemicals will be taken to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed. Click here for more info!

MCS has moved!

The Organic Sprout – Spring 2017

MCS_Organic Sprout_Spring2017_FInal

The spring Organic Sprout is here! Certified producers will receive a copy in the mail, but you can read it online right now.

MCS Staff Announcement

Katy Green has joined MCS as a full time staff inspector and materials reviewer, and is replacing our outgoing staff inspector, Jake Galle. Katy has worked for MOFGA since 2008, primarily helping farmers and processors transition to organic production.  This work has allowed Katy to travel all over the state offering assistance, guidance, and answering questions about complying with the organic standards.  She is excited that her work with MCS will still have her traveling all over the state and that she’ll be able to apply the knowledge learned from working with clients transitioning to organic production to her new role working with the certification program.  Katy can be reached at her same email address: kgreen@mofga.org.

 

2017 Application Forms Are Ready!

2017  application forms for organic certification for all scopes are live and available for download under the Certification Application Forms drop-down menu above. Please make note of the deadlines for each scope; you can find them here. Producers renewing their certification can also find forms they may need in the same menu. If you have any questions please contact us at the MCS office.