CCOF Blog

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 14, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, farmers markets, general organic, organic market


Are your customers confused about what organic means? Order a complimentary batch of the 2018 “Why Buy Certified Organic?” postcards today! The cards include information for consumers about what organic means and why it’s important to buy organic products.   In 2017, Fresno Commons, “a for-profit corporation and non-profit land trust, working to grow vibrant, community-owned local food system in the Fresno and San Joaquin Valley,” ordered cards to include in their CSA boxes to help educate their customers about the benefits of buying organic.    The CCOF Foundation sends thousands of “Why Buy...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 14, 2018 on farmers markets, general organic


Urban development of agricultural land is one of the biggest obstacles facing future farmers. Agriculture professionals found property much easier to find 20 years ago, when farmland was abundant, but today, as less agricultural land becomes available, the high cost of limited supply scares away budding potential farmers. One of the hardest parts of getting an organic farming business up and running now is not cost of labor, lack of consumers, or inability to find wholesale buyers for crops: it’s finding a place to start planting. Fortunately, Spade & Plow Organics was able to secure...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 14, 2018 on general organic

Television celebrity Dr. Oz hosted “the biggest names in the organic food industry” on a recent episode of his show that addressed consumer concerns about organic integrity.   Executive Director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association Laura Batcha was joined by Jill McIntosh of Kroger and Regina Beidler, an organic dairy farmer with the Organic Valley cooperative, to explain the rigor of organic standards and enforcement.   Batcha emphasized that “fraud is very rare in organic” and explained that the organic industry has actually gone to Congress to request additional regulation by USDA...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 14, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


For Sierra Torres, growing up in a single parent household in New Orleans, a city where fresh food was not always accessible, it was not uncommon for the only vegetables on her family’s plates to be canned. Even though Torres has many fond childhood memories of her mother taking her out to her garden where she grew an assortment of flowers, herbs, and vegetables traditional to our home, it didn’t change the fact that, with her mother working long shifts at the hospital, there was little time and money to cook healthy meals with fresh vegetables. Yet this never stopped Torres from wanting to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Join the CCOF Foundation this spring for a series of webinars geared toward the financial side of farming.   In our first webinar, Financial Planning 101 on May 23, Brett Melone from California FarmLink will delve into the details of cash flow management, business structures, and risk management tools to assist farmers in cultivating a financially sound farm business.   Our second webinar, Accessing Crop Insurance on June 19, explores new crop insurance options available to organic and diversified farms. Combined with the financial tools presented in the first webinar, crop insurance can help...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, Non-GMO & More seal, standards

USDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule to establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The standard was mandated by Congress in 2016 to require food manufacturers and other food labeling entities to disclose information about bioengineered foods and bioengineered ingredients.   USDA is using the term “bioengineered” for what are commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are banned in organic production.    Comments will be accepted until July 3, 2018 via regulations.gov or by mail to Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543-South,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, materials and inputs, standards

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The proposed rule is based on public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).   AMS will accept public comments on the proposed rule until June 29, 2018. Comments can be submitted via regulations.gov.    At their Fall 2017 meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended that AMS add elemental sulfur to the National List to treat livestock and livestock housing. Elemental...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, pests and pesticides

A recent blog post by Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia, UC Cooperative Extension entomologist based in Salinas, addresses reports he’s received about “red aphids” being found in organic romaine lettuce varieties that are resistant to the lettuce aphid.   Laboratory analysis showed that the “red aphids” were not lettuce aphids, but were actually either potato aphids or foxglove aphids.    Del Pozo-Valdivia’s blog shows pictures of different species of aphids and makes the point that body color is not the best trait to use to identify aphid species because they can change color during their lifespan...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, employment

CCOF members Colin and Karen Archipley are featured in a new documentary titled “The Farm.” The film highlights the Archipleys’ certified organic hydroponic farm Archi’s Acres and their work with veterans enrolled in the Archi’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.   The film follows transitioning military service members as they begin and complete the six-week course on organic agribusiness at Archi’s. The foundation of the program is learning sustainable agribusiness and farming methods and business development through practical and applicable skills.    Over 400 students have graduated...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on biodiversity, events

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is partnering with eOrganic to present a series of nine webinars based on OFRF’s soil health and organic farming educational guides. The first webinar will be May 9, 2018. The series will run through May 2019.   Presented by the guides’ authors Mark Schonbeck and Diana Jerkins, the webinars will cover  Building organic matter for healthy soils Ecological weed management Practical conservation tillage Selecting and managing cover crops Plant genetics Water management and quality Crop nutrient management Organic practices for climate...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 7, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Although Benjamin Meeks was born in Kenya, he grew up on a 35-acre farm in rural Appalachia.  As far back as Meeks can remember, he’s had a passion for farming and nature. The plants and animals on his family’s small farm in the Appalachian mountains were his backyard and the world he called home.    Naturally, as Meeks grew older, he began asking the question, “why?” Why do the animals eat the plants? Why do the plants grow better in some places than in other places? These questions were the sparks that ignited Meeks’ interest in how mother nature works. His primary focus today is on organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy


CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain.    “We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks.    Lewin outlined three first-step solutions to immediately increase oversight of imported organic crops and products. Those solutions include...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

  The National Organic Program (NOP) extended the commenting deadline for their proposed rule of 35 amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOP will now be accepting comments until May 14, 2018.    The proposed rule amends the National List by changing the restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production or handling; adding 16 new substances; prohibiting rotenone for organic crop production; and removing ivermectin as an allowed parasiticides for organic livestock production.    Proposed Updates to Existing Substances on National List...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for all 25 positions of the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). FVIAC examines issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry to provide ideas on ways to improve programs to better meet the changing needs of the produce industry.   The deadline for nominations is May 24, 2018. Nominees should submit a cover letter detailing qualifications, a resume (fewer than five pages), the required Form AD-755, and optional letters of endorsement. Nominations should be submitted to marlene.betts@ams.usda.gov or valerie.minick@ams.usda.gov;...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 2800 Gateway Oaks in Sacramento from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Thomas Osborn, (916) 900-5210, thomas.osborn@cdfa.ca.gov.   Before there were USDA organic regulations, the forward-looking state of California passed its own organic regulations in 1990. Today, California is the only state in the country with its own State Organic Program (SOP) that provides enforcement and regulatory activities within the state, much like the National Organic Program (NOP) does for the rest of...

Pages