From Field to Forum

Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 11, 2014 on marketing, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently in the process of evaluating the Organic Check-off program, which would fund research and aid in promotion of organic agriculture. Other “check-off programs” include the “Got Milk?” campaign and The Wool Trust, which provides grant opportunities to assist the expansion of wool development in the United States. These existing programs are wonderful agricultural opportunities, but they don’t necessarily fulfill the needs of organic farmers and producers. A Consumer Reports survey highlighted that shoppers now credit “natural” with attributes that...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 11, 2014 on farmers markets


Last week, CCOF celebrated the 15th annual “National Farmers Market Week.” Among the many causes for celebration, CCOF joined the USDA in applauding increased access to farmers’ markets across the United States.  The number of listed farmers’ markets totals 8,268, according to the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, an online tool with a searchable database for information such as directions, operating times, and product offerings. California has the most farmers’ markets of any other state, but all geographic regions have seen an overall increase in markets since 2008, according to a...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 4, 2014 on CCOF, export, trade

CCOF is honored to have our President of CCOF Certification Services, LLC, Jake Lewin, travel with Governor Jerry Brown's Mexico Trade Delegation. This trade mission was intended to address trade issues between California and Mexico. An agricultural delegation led by California Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, addressed important agricultural issues. A growing trade in organic products in both directions in addition to the current implementation of Mexico’s organic standards made this an important opportunity for addressing the needs of CCOF members. Other participants included Craig...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 4, 2014 on CCOF

CCOF is offering a special merchandise deal for the entire month of August. For those of you who are looking to start or expand your CCOF gear, this offer just for you! Show your organic pride with our 100% organic long-sleeve t-shirt, limited-edition fabric bag, and two bumper stickers. This deal retails at $40, but for a limited time we’re offering the bundle for $30 with free shipping. Use promotion code *FS0814. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts! *Free shipping on orders within the United States only. Offer limited to one per household. 
Written by Jane Sooby and Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 4, 2014 on certification process, marketing

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) recently published the Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification. The guide, written by certified organic farmer Emily Oakley at the request of NYFC, explains the value of organic certification and breaks down the application process for vegetable growers interested in taking the next steps. The guide not only explains the history of the organic movement, but also highlights several compelling reasons for certification. Oakley comments that certification allows operations to sell at better prices, builds credibility with new customers, and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 28, 2014 on assistance, funding

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced that the deadline for applying for certification cost-share is now November 29, 2014. The new deadline is earlier than previously announced. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 may apply for reimbursement. The cost-share program refunds 75% of certification-related fees up to a maximum of $750 per scope of operation. Learn more and apply for this program.
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, July 28, 2014 on education, standards

Organic Education Solutions has teamed up with CCOF to offer the Keep It Organic DVD in our store. The Keep It Organic DVD was developed by experienced organic industry experts at Organic Education Solutions to help companies improve their organic training program and compliance to the organic regulations and company SOPs. The DVD provides tips and training tools to help your employees prevent common mistakes that compromise organic integrity and impact certification. The DVD complies with both USDA National Organic Program and Canadian Organic Product Regulations, and is presented in both...
Written by Jake Lewin on Monday, July 21, 2014 on CCOF, Employment


Due to internal promotions and expansion of the organization, CCOF has three openings in our organic farm/livestock programs. CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is seeking two additional Grower and one Livestock Certification Specialists and/or Certification Service Specialists to work in the Santa Cruz, California office performing organic farm certification. The anticipated start date is September 16, 2014, subject to change, with interviews commencing in August. The people in this position will work within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, July 21, 2014 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The CCOF Foundation and UNFI Foundation, along with Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, and Bradmer Foods have pooled their resources to support the education of new organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors. These organizations formed an Advisory Committee that developed application criteria, reviewed grant applicants, and selected the grant finalists for these 10 direct grants to students in higher and vocational education programs. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 21, 2014 on assistance, funding


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently extended the application deadline for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) to July 29, 2014. Under SWEEP, the state of California will disburse up to $10 million to agricultural operations investing in irrigation and water distribution installations that reduce water usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The application is web-based. Please view the Application Guidelines and register for a Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FASST) account. For technical assistance contact your local...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, July 21, 2014 on CCOF, policy

Kelly Damewood joined CCOF as Policy Director on July 14. Kelly most recently received an advanced degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in food and agricultural policy. She has also worked as a journalist for Food Safety News, writing and publishing news articles on food safety issues for the online publication with worldwide distribution. Prior to that, Kelly received her law degree from the Vermont Law School, specializing in environmental law.  Kelly will lead CCOF’s policy staff and organize member engagement on issues related to the National Organic Program (NOP),...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 21, 2014 on seeds

Adapted from Press Release by the Organic Seed Alliance CCOF invites you to participate in the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) national seed survey. The survey is designed to assess certified organic crop producers’ perceptions regarding organic seed and to better understand current organic seed usage. This national survey is conducted every five years and is used as the basis of the State of Organic Seed Report, which monitors organic seed availability and use, challenges in sourcing organic seed, and organic plant breeding needs. The survey data may also help shape organic seed and breeding...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, research, seeds


The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is currently working on a project that could assist organic farmers in seed treatment. Conventional farming practices that focus on chemical treatment and fumigation can be harmful to both the environment and humans alike, and many of these methods are prohibited in organic production. OFRF is expanding on the work of prior studies that found suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens from microbes present in solid and liquid organic soil amendments. OFRF seeks to identify which specific subset of microbes is responsible for this pathogen...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides, research


Citrus greening disease, also known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing, threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. It has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad, ravaging citrus in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly, and once a tree is infected it cannot be cured. Citrus greening is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that transmits the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. These psyllids are prolific breeders, with each female laying up to 800...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 14, 2014 on

A new position with University of California Cooperative Extension is currently being advertised for a Small Farms Advisor with expertise in organic specialty crop production systems. The position will be based in Woodland, California, and the advisor will serve small-scale vegetable and fruit growers in Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento Counties. The job description states that "the Advisor will be responsible for extending research-based information on all aspects of small farms with particular emphasis on organic agriculture production systems." The Advisor will conduct both extension and...

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