From Field to Forum

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 2, 2015 on policy

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, February 2, 2015 on

CCOF is hitting the road this spring to attend organic and food industry events and meet with you! As a dynamic trade association, CCOF sponsors a variety of educational trainings and conferences. We also attend industry trade shows to promote our members and their certified organic products. At each event, we are excited to meet with new and long-time certified members, answer your questions, and learn more about how we can support your organic business. Stop by our exhibit booth or contact us to set up an appointment. See you at these events soon! Organicology 2015  Portland, OR | 2/5-2/7...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, February 2, 2015 on CCOF, member news

CCOF-certified member Jenny Lester Moffitt of Dixon Ridge Farms has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislation and Special Assistant to the Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the appointment last week. Moffitt has been managing director of Dixon Ridge Farms since 2005 and served on the CCOF Board for over two years. She previously served as an education, outreach and research specialist at the American Farmland Trust and is vice chair of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Moffitt will be a...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 19, 2015 on policy


CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, January 19, 2015 on events

CCOF will be at this year’s 35th annual EcoFarm Conference; will you? As the largest and oldest ecological agricultural gathering in the west, the EcoFarm Conference offers more than 70 workshops featuring an array of educational and technical workshops, along with notable keynote speakers, an exhibitor marketplace, live entertainment, discussion groups, mixers, delicious organic meals and libations. Visit www.eco-farm.org for more info and to register. Plus, CCOF will be co-sponsoring the New and Beginning Farmer/Rancher Mixer from 5:30-11:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 22. Get to know the...
Written by Jane Sooby and Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015 on advocacy, marketing

Comment period extended to February 17, 2015. Comment now. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through January 15, 2015, and is expected to become law next year. The Proposed Exemption The proposed rule includes significant expansions to the organic exemption from federal check-off programs. It allows split operations, e.g. operations with both organic and conventional production, to seek exemptions. It also...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, January 12, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, education, financial assistance, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) was founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers with a mission to train future generations of American youth to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population. Today, their classes and clubs reach hundreds of thousands of young people across the United States. For the most part, these agriculturally-minded youth are trained in conventional agriculture. Now, through an innovative partnership with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, FFA students will have access to funding for organic projects. Hear from the FFA grant recipients about...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, January 12, 2015 on events, livestock

Learn to grow more grass, animals, and community at the first Western Regional Grazing Conference: Grazing for Change, on February 27 and 28, 2015, at the Chico State University College of Agriculture Farm Pavilion. Farmers and ranchers face enormous challenges today, from the drought conditions in the western United States to rising costs of production, regulations, family succession hurdles, and feed availability for livestock. Livestock producers are seeking lasting solutions to these issues Livestock producers need a way to increase production of the land they have instead of seeking more...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015 on advocacy, policy, research, State Organic Program

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations. CCOF’s findings will be compiled in a comprehensive report titled The California Organics Review...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, January 5, 2015 on events


CCOF members, academics, journalists, and organically-interested conventional producers had the privilege of touring through some of the Bay Area’s premier wholesale operations on Wednesday, December 10. Long time organic food purveyor Veritable Vegetable brought the tour group into the inner recesses of their South San Francisco warehouses to give participants a firsthand experience of the ‘cold-chain.’ Participants bundled up to witness old and new Veritable Vegetable wholesale warehouses in action and learn what a good-pack versus bad-pack means for Veritable standards. They also learned...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, January 5, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, grants

Last year, CCOF members invested in the CCOF Foundation and the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. By partnering with organic sector business leaders, the fund addresses the need for new organic producers through investing in organic agriculture education. Beginning in grade-school classrooms, extending through high school, and into higher education and vocational studies, this year the national fund will award: 25 grants to ​K-8 teachers who integrate organic agriculture into their curriculum through a special partnership with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. 25...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, January 5, 2015 on employment

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) is currently hiring for multiple vacancies. Please note that these committee positions are three year terms with no compensation — travel expenses are covered. The current vacancies include: Six Producer Alternates Two Processor Alternates Two Consumer Representative Alternates Two Technical Representative Alternates One Retail Representative One Wholesale Alternate Additionally, they’ll be hiring for positions that will become vacant on November 15, 2015. These positions are: Three Producer Members One Processor Member One...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 15, 2014 on genetic engineering, labeling and packaging, policy

The federal agency in charge of the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products recently implemented a procedure that allows labels for certified organic meat and poultry products to include a “Non-Genetically Engineered” statement. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)—a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—unveiled a 3-step procedure for the labels earlier this year. The first step is for a company to write a letter to FSIS on the company letterhead that includes the FSIS approval number for their current organic label, a copy of the label, and the...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 8, 2014 on food safety, policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on its recently updated food safety rules now through December 15. To comment, CCOF highly recommends that you use the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comment template and instructions. The updated rules include significant changes, such as: revised water testing standards, deferred manure treatment standards, and  a more collaborative approach to regulating parts of mixed-type facilities — e.g. operations that grow, pack, and/or process on the farm. FDA issued the updated rules after receiving...
Written by Jane Sooby and Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 8, 2014 on policy

Historically, few crop insurance options existed for diversified organic farms. Now, under a new policy called Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) diversified farms can insure crops, livestock, nursery, and greenhouse crops under one comprehensive policy. Until WFRP, diversified organic farms could not take full advantage of crop insurance policies. Individual policies and price elections were often not available for organic crops or for the counties where the crops were grown. Additionally, highly diversified farms could not justify the expense of separate insurance policies for each type...

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