CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on general organic, standards

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments.  The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) designed an online training center to provide professional development and continuing education training for organic certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and professionals. The Organic Integrity Learning Center will focus on serving professionals involved in compliance and enforcement roles in organic control systems.  The NOP will debut the system in a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. Stakeholders can connect to the town hall two ways: Dial in by Phone Toll-free (United States & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code:...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


Sophia Soctt 3

In conjunction with the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California, the “We Are Organic” Dinner will celebrate all things organic—the growth of organic, inspiring stories from Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipients, and a festive organic meal with friends in the organic community. All proceeds from the dinner go to support the CCOF Foundation.  At this year’s dinner, enjoy the music of country-influenced pop artist Sophia Scott. Scott is a country-influenced pop artist with an unapologetic honesty to her lyrics that is vulnerable and wonderfully relatable. Her powerful cover of...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on member news

Amigo Bob is one of the stalwart organizers of the annual EcoFarm conference and a renowned organic farming advisor. He stewards a collection of heirloom perennial fruits—from apples to walnuts—and makes cuttings available through the Felix Gillet Institute. Amigo Bob’s repository of heirloom fruits recently caught the attention of National Geographic, which published a photo essay on the rich genetic diversity he is protecting. The piece focuses on the importance of these locally-adapted species in the face of climate change and increasing drought. 
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lauren Spencer

Lauren Spencer is a student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Kentucky with a major in career and technical education agricultural education teaching accreditation program with minors in sustainable agriculture and ag economics, and she will be graduating in Spring 2019. She is a participant in the UK Horticulture Club, has completed the 200-hour working apprenticeship on UK Horticulture Research Farm, and is currently working on her startup cut flower business. After graduation she plans to teach high school youth as an agriculture educator while...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, grower


It’s time again for the CCOF Foundation’s annual tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market!   If you are looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California, join us on November 29 in San Francisco for one of our most popular events of the year. Tour participants will visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.  This tour sells out early, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Travis Forgues

Organic Valley’s Vice President of Farmer Relations Travis Forgues will join us on December 12 as the keynote speaker of the CCOF Foundation’s “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California. All proceeds of the dinner benefit the CCOF Foundation.  As a young man with degrees in computer science and psychology, Forgues could have very easily taken his professional career off the farm and into cyberspace with one click of a mouse.   Instead, Forgues and his wife Amy chose to stick with real mice, tending to their herd of happy cows that graze their family’s...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Zackery, Dylan, Josaphine

Through our Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, the CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide just under $100,000 in grants to middle and high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last six years. CCOF Foundation Program Manager Josaphine Stevenson recently attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Convention and Expo were attended by 67,000 FFA students from across the nation.  Stevenson had an opportunity to meet several talented students who received CCOF’s organic SAE grants this...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, financial assistance, grants

Win up to $10,000 for your farm  Local produce distributors, in partnership with PRO*ACT, are inviting qualifying farms to apply for Cultivating Change Grants to pay for certification costs, marketing, infrastructure projects, and capacity building. With a total of $85,000 available for farms looking to fund new and innovative projects, these grants seek to promote a culture of sustainability in the fresh food supply chain by encouraging innovation and environmentalism to local farms nationwide.   2017 winner Arizona Microgreens used their $5,000 grant for a germination chamber, optimizing...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jesus Alcauter

Jesus Alcauter’s father was a vegetable farmer for many years in Michoacán, Mexico, growing corn, tomatoes, squash, and other crops. He instilled a love of farming and rural life in Alcauter, and even though he spent most of his childhood in Mexico City, his family would spend as much time in the countryside as possible.  Three years ago, Alcauter purchased his first ranch in Central Texas, where he and his wife raise chickens and goats. Alcauter has learned numerous trades over the years, including blacksmithing, welding, carpentry, and masonry, and he loves that in farming all his skills...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

This is the last week to purchase tickets for the November 7 food safety workshop in Santa Rosa, California that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person. If you can’t make it to the November 7 workshop, the CCOF Foundation is offering additional workshops in January 2019. These workshops are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week, USDA announced it will propose rulemaking on adverse actions appeals process within the national organic standards.  The proposed rule will streamline the appeals process and ensure that the National Organic Program (NOP) can more efficiently stop producers from marketing noncompliant products as organic.  The rulemaking is part of USDA’s broad strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports. In July, NOP hosted a virtual town hall to engage organic stakeholders as they begin the rulemaking process and is focusing on ten topic areas: — Federated organic certificates— Satellite...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is accepting public comments on modified cannabis cultivation regulations until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Comments may be submitted to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to: Amanda Brown, Regulations CoordinatorCalifornia Department of Food and AgricultureCalCannabis Cultivation Licensing DivisionP.O. Box 942871Sacramento, CA 94271 The proposed changes are in response to comments received to comments received during the notice of proposed rulemaking and hearings conducted in July and August 2018. CCOF submitted public comments on the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 6, 2019! Make your commitment now to maximize the return on your sponsorship. This can't-miss event is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists, and businesses come together to enjoy an organic feast and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming. Your sponsorship supports the critical work of The Organic Center and it...

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