Blog posts by CCOF Foundation

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, food safety

Confused about what records you are required to keep for compliance with the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? Not sure how those records overlap with what you are already doing for your organic certification? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) for a webinar on June 18 that clearly explains what records are required for produce farms that must fully comply with FSMA and how those records align with USDA National Organic Program recordkeeping requirements.Farms that must fully comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) started its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections of produce farms this spring. Produce farms with more than $500,000 in average annual sales may be contacted by CDFA in 2019 for an inspection to verify the farm’s compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. What to Expect During an InspectionTo help orient growers to the FSMA inspection process, CDFA recently published information on what to expect during an inspection. The CDFA Produce Safety Program inspection procedures webpage includes information on the inspection...
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 Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation


The Organic Coup SF Giants

“We really visualized this as a takeover. Our opposition was the fast food industry. … It’s like a modern-day David and Goliath…We’re all part of this dream.” – Dennis Hoover, Co-Founder of the Organic Coup Since James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold in Coloma, California in 1848, Northern California has evolved into a place of rapid growth, development, and change. For every technological advancement born here, there have been equally important scientific discoveries regarding the benefits of organic agricultural practices. There has never been a better time in human history to create, to...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vista Verde Middle School

Vista Verde Middle School used grant funds to construct an outdoor lab to teach students organic agricultural practices (land sustainability, soil management, and how to support healthy aquifers) and how to reduce their carbon footprint (reuse, recycle, repurpose). Students reported a sense of empowerment in knowing that they could plant and maintain a garden without the use of herbicides or pesticides and yet produce food that looks just like grocery store food. Nutrient cycling through use of compost bins enabled students to see how they can use and reuse—that nothing gets thrown away....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic


flood

Late winter storms immediately followed by warm spring weather has caused record flooding in much of the Midwest, including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The consequences have been catastrophic for family farmers and ranchers in the region; just in Nebraska, the cost to agriculture is estimated at $1 billion. These expenses are due in large part to crop loss, livestock deaths, and building damage. But even farmers who have been able to salvage their products face significant barriers to storing or selling them because entire portions of critical...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vermont School for Girls

VPI South, Vermont School for Girls is a nonprofit therapeutic school for girls ages 8 through 18 with complex trauma. They used grant funding to install an organic aromatherapy herbal garden and sensory pathway. The school’s goal was to add another level of healing for their students. After installing the sensory garden, the girls were able to visualize even more opportunities for organic living. They brainstormed what this would look like and used remaining funds to install an aquaponic system where fish waste will nourish the organic plants grown for aromatherapy. Students now go to this...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Not sure what the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) means for your small or medium-sized organic farm? Join the CCOF Foundation and Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on March 27 for a webinar that clarifies the basic FSMA requirements for small and medium-sized produce farms.  Produce farms in California are subject to FSMA inspections by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Even if your farm qualifies for an exemption from FSMA, you still need to keep records to prove that you qualify for the exemption. A FSMA inspector may request...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


R.L. Stevenson Middle School

R.L. Stevenson Middle School received a grant to create and sustain a school learning garden--a place for exploration and creation to occur. Middle school students began their project by learning about the microorganisms that live in soil. This included building a worm composting station. Students also learned about a wide variety of seeds and grew edible plants to be used for a class salad party. After the plants went to seed, students collected them and packaged them in packets they designed. The garden continues to develop as a community space where students can read books in the afternoon...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


El Vista Elementary School

Third through sixth grade students at El Vista School received a grant to learn about organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. They compared the look, taste, and smell of the fruit and vegetables, researched both farming practices, and visited a conventional farm and an organic farm. Ninety eight percent of El Vista School’s student body receives reduced or free lunch and many of its students do not get the chance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though they live in a farming region. This project gave students the opportunity to see the difference between organic and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, research


Roadmap

 CCOF is excited to release a new contribution to the scientific literature, Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, which distills the findings of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies into a captivating and beautifully illustrated read.  The Benefits Report presents clear evidence that organic agriculture is more than a system of food production; it is a comprehensive approach to solving the issues threatening California’s long-term security and prosperity.  “Organic food production is an opportunity to stimulate the state’s economy, promote public health, and protect...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF.  Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic. During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation. Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Prior to CCOF, Cathy served two terms as...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Bonterra Barn_Photo Credit Sara Matthews Photography

Photo courtesy Sara MatthewsLast December 2018, the CCOF Foundation hosted its largest-ever benefit dinner, with nearly 250 of CCOF’s closest friends and supporters coming together in Monterey, California. The dinner, part of the larger Organic Grower Summit co-hosted by CCOF and the Organic Produce Network, aimed to draw awareness to the programs of the CCOF Foundation, and to bring together a group of like-minded individuals to celebrate the students, teachers, and donors who make the work of the CCOF Foundation possible. There were also some fantastic adult beverages available to those...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Ely Memorial School Cucumber check

Students from Washington Elementary learned about beekeeping from a local beekeeper. The project began with a presentation during the Arthropoda section of the science class. Forty students learned about the activities of the Ely Area Bee Club as well as scientific facts about bees. Participating students visited the apiary for weekly hive checks. Although the club's hives did not produce enough honey to harvest this year, the students were taught how to harvest honey during a Save the Bees weekend course given by the Ely Folk School. Students helped sell honey at the Ely Farmers' Market. The...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, policy


California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force.  CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton...

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