The CCOF Pacific Southwest Chapter has a large membership of over 300 producers, handlers, processors, and supporting members centered in San Diego County. The chapter leadership committee is working hard to revive chapter interest with engaging programs and expanding outreach to areas outside San Diego (Northern LA, the deserts, and Arizona). With the onset of USDA regulations and the management of the review process moving from the chapter level to the main CCOF office, the chapter suffered an identity crises and interest waned. We are excited to reinvigorate our chapter.
San Diego County has many certified organic small farms, perhaps the largest amount of small certified organic farms in the U.S. Our local crops are mainly avocados, citrus, and exotic fruits, with several farmers’ market growers including vegetable crops. Desert-area crops include dates, grapes, and large-scale vegetable producers and packinghouses. Arizona includes a variety of large and small scale vegetable producers, as well as an increasing amount of livestock, along with feed growers to support these certified livestock ranches.
Our chapter is relatively new compared to many CCOF chapters, having our roots with the first certified local grower in 1986. Bill Braemer of Be Wise Farms (whose certification number is ps01) was very involved in the organic movement in its early days of the creation of the USDA National Organic Program, between 1991 and 2002.
Our chapter leadership is proud to be an advocate for the organic farmer, the movement, and causes that affect our standards of living and livelihood. The costs of water and pest control are important and current concerns in our area. We are present on Facebook and are looking forward to using technology to help the busy farmer both address issues that affect them and become educated on current organic-related issues.
Pacific Southwest Chapter Leaders:
- President: Soleil Develle, Panorama Farms, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President: Tom Page, Page’s Organics, email@example.com
- Secretary: Darlene Eells, Sundance Natural Foods, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer: Mary Page, Page’s Organics, email@example.com
- Board Representative: Karen Archipley, Archi’s Acres, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alternate Board Representative: Lois Christie, The Organic Consulting Firm email@example.com