CCOF Blog

CCOF staff are working remotely and the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California is temporarily closed to the public to help keep our staff and community safe from COVID-19. Response times may be slower than usual. Learn more.
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Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, March 30, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, policy

As communities come together to build resilience in this deeply challenging time, CCOF is compiling resources that support our members and the organic community. Visit our Crisis Resilience Resources webpage for links to helpful resources for organic businesses. Check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this page with new resources as we learn about them.  We are working with partners, allies, and other organizations to gather useful information for the community. You can help by sharing links to additional resources by emailing policy@ccof.org.  Share with us how COVID-19 has impacted you...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, March 30, 2020 on CCOF, directory, general organic, services


With the advent of shelter-in-place orders across the United States, many may be looking for new ways to access fresh produce. CCOF’s online member directory allows you to search for organic farmers in your area. CCOF members are hard at work this spring, planting and harvesting healthy organic produce. Many are needing to change their business plans on the fly to adapt to the changes in the restaurant supply chain.   We encourage you to search our online database by city; zip code; or sales method, including Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for home delivery or pick-up of farm-fresh...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 30, 2020 on crisis resilience, funding, general organic

Note: This post was written on March 26, 2020. On March 27, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the bill and it was signed into law by the President. As farmers and communities all across the country continue to deal with the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Congress has been working around the clock to pass another round of emergency aid, this time targeted at small businesses and those who have lost income as a result of the crisis (including farmers), as well as boosting our medical capacity to respond.  Just before midnight on Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed (96...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 30, 2020 on advocacy, financial assistance, funding, general organic, producer

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides grants, capped at $100,000, for over 25 practices that boost soil health. Eligible practices include cover crops, compost application, prescribed grazing, planting of hedgerows, mulch, reduced tillage, and more. For the full list of eligible practices, see the CDFA Request for Grant Applications.  The Healthy Soils Program has been streamlined and it’s now easier and less time-consuming to apply. There is a record amount of funding this year—a total of more than $25 million— and we expect a drop in funding next year so it’s a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 23, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

California officials issued guidance regarding retail food, beverage, and other service venues. These venues bring people from multiple communities into close contact with each other and have the potential to increase the transmission of COVID-19. “These are aggressive, but necessary actions to protect our communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We all have a role to play when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. These establishments that are remaining open should think creatively about how they can continue to provide services to the community. Shifting operations to focus on...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and the other NOSB agenda items.  The National Organic Program recently announced that the spring 2020 meeting will be held remotely. CCOF will share more details as they are announced.  The following substances are up for review for re-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic


OTA Farmstead Membership

Join us in our efforts to promote and protect organic agriculture! CCOF members may be eligible for the $50 Farmstead Membership in the Organic Trade Association. Farmstead Members have direct access to Organic Trade Association resources and full voting rights. The Farmstead Membership is reserved for reserved for small organic farmers with annual organic sales less than $250,000 who are also current members of one of the organizations affiliated with our Farmers Advisory Council, including CCOF. As a Farmstead Member, you provide a critical voice in helping to advance national policy...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 16, 2020 on CCOF, general organic

La oficina de CCOF en Santa Cruz, California, está temporalmente cerrada, con vigencia inmediata. El personal de CCOF seguirá trabajando desde sus hogares.De acuerdo con las recomendaciones de contención y cuarentena de la Enfermedad por Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) y el Departamento de Salud Pública de California, la oficina de CCOF en Santa Cruz, California, se cerrará de inmediato para ayudar a mantener nuestro personal y la comunidad a salvo del COVID-19. El personal trabajará desde casa mientras la oficina física está...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 16, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

The CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California is temporarily closed to the public, effective immediately. CCOF staff will still be working from their homes.In line with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment and quarantine recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health, the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California will be closed to the public effective immediately to help keep our staff and community save from COVID-19.  Staff will be working from home while the physical office is closed to the public. Please note that...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


Photo cred Tommy Martino_Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

Tommy Martino, Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle (left) on the Grain by Grain book tour 2019. As an organic farmer at home in Montana of over 30 years, I see firsthand the bounty created from tending to the land in an organic manner. Butterflies, bees, ladybugs, birds, and countless other creatures are drawn to the land tended organically. Those who work on the soil every day can feel its soft, supple nature underneath their boots. The palpable feeling of health and vitality pouring out of an organic farm is unmatched. That said, there is also science to stand behind the claim that organic is a more...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, general organic

Transitioning more land to organic production is key to tackling some of the major issues facing us today. Organic farming helps build climate change resilience, fosters economic security, and improves health inequities. As part of a broader effort to increase organic farming, CCOF has partnered with Anheuser Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support for farmers during the critical phase of transitioning to organic.  Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and needed that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Arlington, Virginia April 29-May 1, 2020. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Virginia. The board will be discussing many topics at the meeting, including Sunset Reviews, materials petitions, discussion documents, and proposals.  The NOSB will host two webinars on April 21, 2020 and April 23, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 3, 2020. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, water

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is announcing one vacancy on the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP). The panel advises the secretary on the implementation of the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, and also assists federal, state, and local government agencies, as appropriate or necessary, on issues relating to the impact of agricultural practices on air, water, and wildlife habitat.  According to statute, the Secretary of CDFA shall appoint five of the nine EFA SAP members. Members of the panel shall...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, general organic


Transition

It’s not always easy to transition to certified organic, and we don’t expect farmers to do it alone. That’s why we’ve partnered with Anheuser Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide $5,000 grants for farmers transitioning to organic. The CCOF Foundation also offers a wealth of educational opportunities through our Organic Training Institute. Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and needed that final incentive to get certified. Now is your chance to lessen the financial challenge of...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

On February 26, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), an ambitious piece of legislation that proposes a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. agriculture by 2040. The bill focuses on policy goals in the following six areas: increasing research, improving soil health, protecting existing farmland, supporting pasture-based livestock systems, boosting investments in on-farm energy initiatives, and reducing food waste. Specific targets in the plan include cutting emissions from ruminant livestock by at least half, restoring half of the...

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