From Field to Forum

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 27, 2014 on farmers markets

California is the heart of our nation’s food and agricultural innovations, from popularizing farmers’ markets and organic agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s, to a renewed focus in recent years on fresh produce and local foods. As California goes, so goes the nation, right? With more than 800 farmers’ markets now operating in the Golden State, it is fair to say that California represents “ground zero” in the ever-evolving policy and operations issues that farmers’ markets face in the United States. Given this, the significance of Governor Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill (AB) 1871 into law...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, October 27, 2014 on policy

Are you up-to-date on the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules? On Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a free listening session on the FSMA Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food. CCOF is co-sponsoring the listening session and encourages all members to take advantage of this opportunity to hear an overview of the updated proposed rules, ask questions, and learn more about food safety rules. The listening session will...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, October 27, 2014 on directory

Tuesday, November 4 is the deadline for your ad space reservation in the 2015 Organic Directory & Resource Guide!  View our advertising rates.  Prices at-a-glance:  Business card - $425  Quarter page - $750  Half page - $1195  Full page - $1750  The Organic Directory & Resource Guide is a full color publication that we print annually. This directory includes all of our certified organic farmers, processors, handlers, packers, and retailers, and lists organic crops, livestock, processed products, and business services. In addition to our certified members and Business Partners who...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, October 27, 2014 on member news, trade

Did you know that as a CCOF member, you are eligible to join the Organic Trade Association (OTA)? And now you can do so at a discounted cost. OTA is now offering Farmstead Membership to small-operation farmers with a gross organic income less than $250,000 a year. If this is YOU then you’ll be eligible for full OTA membership at a discounted price of $50 a year. OTA membership gives organic operations the opportunity to engage the OTA on important organic topics and allows you to stay completely up-to-date on all issues in the organic industry. Read the full press release from OTA.
Written by Laura McKissack on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 on certification process, renewal

Every year, you are required to submit the annual Continuation of Certification contract and pay your certification fee. In early November, we will mail your renewal package—including the contract and invoice—and email you all the necessary information. By completing your renewal by January 1, you’ll automatically be entered to win a free inspection up to $500. Additionally, when you complete your payment on time you’ll receive 10% off of ALL CCOF merchandise through the month of January! Good luck!
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, October 20, 2014 on directory, marketing

Don’t miss the opportunity to get your information in the 2015 edition of our most popular publication, the Organic Directory & Resource Guide!   The Organic Directory & Resource Guide is a full color publication that we print annually. This directory includes all of our certified organic farmers, processors, handlers, packers, and retailers, and lists organic crops, livestock, processed products, and business services. In addition to our certified members and Business Partners who receive the Organic Directory & Resource Guide, we have retail buyers, manufacturers, wholesalers,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 20, 2014 on funding, research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) a grant to evaluate federal organic research programs.    USDA awarded the grant through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). This year, USDA awarded $23 million in grants under OREI and the Organic Transitions program to improve the competitiveness of organic crop and livestock producers.   OFRF will use the OREI grant to conduct topical and regional evaluations of OREI-funded programs. The project will assess to what degree each project involved organic producers and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Friday, October 17, 2014 on advocacy, NOP, NOSB, policy, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet October 28-30 in Louisville, Kentucky to review organic standards and to determine what recommendations it will make to the National Organic Program (NOP) for future rulemaking. In preparation for the meeting, CCOF submitted nine public comments that address a range of topics such as soil conservation, GMO priorities, and crop and handling materials. CCOF’s comments are below – read more to learn more about CCOF’s recommendations to the NOSB and the value of certain topics and materials to organic production. CCOF representatives will also...
Written by Laura McKissack on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 on CCOF

Farmers across the Western United States are struggling to meet challenges posed by one of the worst droughts in U.S. history. Farming is inherently risky, but the current drought combined with increasingly extreme weather patterns is testing the mettle of many. Organic farmers have always employed creative measures to increase their on-farm environmental sustainability, and in this month’s feature article, “Every Drop Counts”, you’ll learn about the many ways CCOF-certified members are employing innovative water technologies to cope during the recent water-scarce season. From wireless...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 on funding

The state of California recently opened a second round of funding to help farms reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Funds for the program, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), were included in emergency drought legislation passed earlier this year. The maximum grant award is $150,000 and can be used to fund pump improvements such as converting from fossil fuel powered engines to solar, wind, or electric power. The funds may also be used to replace flood or furrow irrigation systems with drip or micro-irrigation; and other ways to improve efficiency...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 on events

A great deal of mud and an unexpected amount of rain didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended Enza Zaden Research Center's lunch on September 25.The soles of our shoes were heavily layered in mud as we toured the trial beds in the much welcomed rain. My tour group included group leader Erica Renaud, North America Business Development Manager of Vitalis Organic Seeds Seeds (the organic division of Enza Zaden); Paula Linton, Sales Executive of GreenLeaf; and Laura Batcha, CEO and ED of Organic Trade Association. Touring the beds, we learned about the challenges of meeting consumer and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, October 6, 2014 on events


Three members of the California State Legislature recently joined CCOF on a tour of three CCOF-certified farms. The tour, hosted in partnership with California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), focused on the climate benefits of organic agriculture. The tour participants—including Chair of the California State Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Susan Talamantes Eggman and Central Coast state representatives Senator Bill Monning (D-Monterey) and Assembly Member Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz)—visited Pinnacle in San Juan Bautista, High Ground Organics in Watsonville, and Pie Ranch in...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, October 6, 2014 on assistance, funding

The Bricmont Fund provides direct financial assistance exclusively to organic producers and processors/handlers who suffer losses due to extreme hardship. Since 2007 CCOF has distributed funds annually to members of the organic community who are in need. Curious if you are eligible? The requirements are fairly simple: Certified organic operation currently in good standing (valid organic certificate required for consideration). Have not received CCOF disaster or hardship funding in the last three years. Experienced severe economic loss in the 2014 calendar year. Submit documentation or...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, October 6, 2014 on events, food safety, get certification help, NOSB

October is full of events to help you grow your business. CCOF hopes you can attend and looks forward to meeting with you while we are on the road. The Western Organic Dairy Producers Association (WODPA) will be hosting the 2014 WODPA Conference in Rohnert Park, CA from October 14-15. CCOF will have a table at this year’s event, so come see us! GLOBALG.A.P. is offering a Crops Workshop and exam re-takes October 15-16 in conjunction with the PMA Fresh Summit 2014 in Anaheim, CA. If you are planning on attending PMA 2014, make sure you look into this workshop, as it provides an excellent...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, September 29, 2014 on biodiversity, grower, member news


Massa rice house

Massa Organics has had an incredible journey to sustainability. It began shortly after college when Greg Massa and his wife, Racquel Krach, returned to Greg’s family rice farm. They utilized their tropical ecology background to prime themselves for their next venture: organic farming. Massa Organics harvests organic almonds and rice on their 200+ acre span of land and employs a very interesting system of sustainable. In addition to their organic crops, they have introduced an animal element to their farm. In the past, their flock of ducks helped control the weed population in the rice fields...

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