CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey released Friday by the Organic Trade Association. New records were made in both the organic food market and the organic non-food market. Organic food...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, pests and pesticides

Joji Muramoto, a longtime research associate with University of California Santa Cruz, has been hired as the first University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist dedicated to organic agriculture. Muramoto will coordinate a statewide program focusing research on organic fruit and vegetable production. He will provide educational resources to producers on topics such as organic pest management and soil fertility. Cooperative Extension serves as a vital link between the University of California and the agricultural sector. Extension Specialists conduct research that addresses on-farm...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, education, NOP

Last week the National Organic Program (NOP) launched the Organic Integrity Learning Center, an online platform that will provide free organic education geared towards certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and compliance specialists. CCOF-produced videos were featured in a lesson titled “Sound and Sensible Organic Certification.” These videos were produced with a grant from USDA’s Sound and Sensible initiative to ease the process of transition and certification for producers. CCOF is proud to contribute content that highlights CCOF members and their practices in the new Learning Center.  The...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Organic producers can benefit from several crop insurance policies developed by USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and purchased from local farm insurance agents. Crop insurance programs have become better suited to the needs of organic producers in recent years, with policies that allow producers to structure their policies based on their farms’ unique conditions. Organic Premium Price Elections now allow organic producers to hold crop insurance based on the price premium they would see in the market rather than the conventional commodity price. The number of crops with Organic Price Premiums...
Written by Allison Stafford on Monday, May 20, 2019 on events, general organic, member news


biggest-little-farm

Apricot Lane Farms, a recent addition to the CCOF family, is bringing the dynamic world of organic to a cinematic audience. The Biggest Little Farm is a new documentary that follows farmers John and Molly Chester’s journey as they leave their life in Los Angeles behind to convert a desolate conventional 200-acre lemon orchard into a thriving organic and biodynamic farm. The film discusses the challenges of working with the land organically and managing all that nature throws their way. From pests to drought to wildfires, the Chesters work together to find natural solutions. This beautifully...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on CCOF

Last week, CCOF welcomed our new policy director, Rebekah Weber. Weber comes to CCOF from Vermont, where she worked as a clean water advocate for Conservation Law Foundation. In this role, Weber built coalitions of diverse stakeholders and advanced legislation to protect Lake Champlain and improve community resilience. Previously, Weber engaged in farmer outreach as a Fulbright Fellow in Nepal and worked on agriculture and environmental policy for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. She holds a Master of Arts degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School and a Master of Science...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 13, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic


Pathways

Every farmer hopes to own their own property. But with high startup costs and sky-high land prices in places like California, it often doesn't make sense to purchase property before starting your farm business. Join the CCOF Foundation, California FarmLink, and the National Young Farmers Coalition for a webinar on May 21 that will guide you through the key steps in negotiating and composing a lease that has a built-in pathway to ownership.  Learn about different types of lease structures, clauses, tactics that can lead to farm ownership, and how to position yourself financially to be able to...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 13, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


cattle

On January 1, 2019, Senate Bill 965 created the California Cattle Council. The new council will be a representative organization comprised of members of the cattle and dairy industries. It will work on projects such as research, promotion, cooperation with agencies and industry groups, and the development of best management practices. Potential research projects relevant to organic producers include the improvement of efficiency and sustainability of the industry, regulatory compliance, and market research concerning public consumption patterns and trends.  As the organic markets for dairy...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 13, 2019 on events, general organic, pests and pesticides

Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce our fourth upcoming field day as part of our All Things Avian Series.  If you want more help with pest control, consider supporting beneficial birds. Learn who these birds are, what they need, and how to provide for them. The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial in the spring and early summer when they feed insects to their nestlings. We’ll also discuss the few bird species that can be pests and how manage them.  We are bringing together farmers who use practices to support beneficial birds, avian researchers who...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 6, 2019 on general organic, NOSB, policy, regulatory

USDA published a final rule making two amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The final rule is based on public input and the November 2017 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations for livestock and handling and will be effective May 30, 2019. Elemental sulfur is currently allowed for use as an insecticide, plant or soil amendment, and for plant disease control. The new rule will allow for the substance to be used in organic livestock production as a topical insect repellent treatment.  Potassium acid tartrate, a biproduct of wine production, will...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 6, 2019 on general organic, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced open registration for industrial hemp cultivation within the state. Industrial hemp cultivators must submit an application to their county agricultural commissioner to receive approval to grow industrial hemp. Cultivators must submit the application form with an annual registration fee of $900 for each county they intend to cultivate industrial hemp in.  Current California law requires registrants to obtain a laboratory test report indicating the THC content of their industrial hemp prior to harvest. CDFA is currently...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2019 on advocacy, farm bill, funding, policy

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 10, 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized this critical conservation program, though existing provisions from the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to apply for this fiscal year. “CSP helps agricultural producers in California take their conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level of conservation stewardship,” said NRCS California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should act quickly...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 6, 2019 on advocacy, events, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will hold its annual Organic Week Event during the week of May 20, 2019. Each year, small- and large-scale growers, companies, researchers, and policy advocates convene in Washington for a week of organic networking, policy advocacy, and education.   Organic Week is comprised of three events: Member Day, Advocacy Day, and Conference Day. At last year’s Organic Week, CCOF members Javier Zamora of JSM Organics and Darrell Wood of Leavitt Lake Ranches spoke on panels. During Advocacy Day, CCOF members and staff joined in meetings with congressional...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2019 on advocacy, employment, general organic, survey


farmworkers

Despite taking a variety of steps to alleviate chronic shortages of agricultural employees, California farmers and ranchers continue to report problems in hiring enough people for on-farm jobs. A survey released today shows 56 percent of participating farmers had been unable to hire all the employees they needed at some point during the previous five years. The voluntary survey of 1,071 farmers and ranchers, conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, also indicated worsening problems in the past two years. Of those farmers...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 29, 2019 on CCOF, general organic, policy


2019 Investing in Integrity Award

Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker (center) with 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award winners at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Seattle, Washington. Pictured left to right: Jodi Snyder and Becky Scheifele of Global Organic Alliance, Sam Welsch of One Cert, and Phil LaRocca, Mary Chramiec, and Peter Nell of CCOF. NOP Names Eight 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY AwardeesThe USDA National Organic Program (NOP) honored eight USDA-accredited organic certifiers with a 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award. Federally accredited certifiers are third-party organizations that certify and help...

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