Blog posts by education

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 2, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Celsa Ortega

This season of giving, I’d like to ask you to consider a gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through an incredible matching opportunity in partnership with Patagonia Action Works. Your gift will be doubled, resulting in changed lives such as that of Celsa Ortega. Thirteen years ago, Celsa was living in her home community in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family farmed there without added chemicals, using integrated natural systems to promote healthy soil and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. When she immigrated to the United States, Celsa never imagined she could have her own organic farm...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Join the CCOF Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) for a webinar on December 10 that provides a practical introduction to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), a crop insurance option for diversified organic farms and ranches. In this webinar you will learn what information you need to apply for WFRP, assess if this crop insurance product is right for your farming operation, and learn how the documentation you keep for organic certification can support your application. Crop insurance is just one of many tools to manage the risks of an organic farming business...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, education, events, general organic

Since the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp legal, there has been a lot of excitement about the growing hemp marketplace. Hemp is an incredibly sustainable crop that builds soil, requires little to no pesticides, and only requires about a third of the water that is used to grow corn. The right varieties of hemp can even offer producers two harvests from one crop—the seed can be processed for oil, and the fiber can be used for textiles and manufacturing. Hemp has the potential to provide a lot of opportunities for growers, processors, the economy, and the environment. Learn more at the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 25, 2019 on education, events, food safety, general organic

The organic community on the Central Coast of California and beyond are gearing up for a fruitful exchange of ideas, contacts, and networking at this year’s Organic Grower’s Summit (OGS), hosted by CCOF and the Organic Produce Network, in Monterey, California on December 4-5, 2019. This year is lining up to be a great one with an action-packed line up of speakers, dinners, and extensive exhibition trade show floor. If you haven’t registered, now is the time to reserve your spot!  CCOF is proud to be a part of this year’s summit, as we are hosting and speaking on multiple panels. Please join...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 25, 2019 on CCOF, education, events, international, organic market, services


CCOF Food Safety

Register now for the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building, and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS, hosted at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California on December 17-19, 2019. CCOF is hosting the GLOBALG.A.P. experts for an in-depth review of the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), with two days of classroom education and one day of on-farm mock inspection using the HPSS.   Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to advance your Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) skills with the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS. Learn everything about the GLOBALG.A.P. System and...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic

The Produce Safety Alliance recently added new videos to its  YouTube channel. Some videos offer an introduction to the Produce Safety Alliance and its Grower Training Course, while others provide easy-to-understand explanations to food safety questions like “Why must we monitor the temperature of water used during postharvest handling?” or “What is a biofilm?” Some videos are offered in both English and Spanish. The Produce Safety Alliance’s Grower Training Course fulfills the supervisor training requirement for farms that are required to be in full compliance  with the Food Safety...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Have you heard conflicting information about how the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) applies to small produce farmers? Has a buyer asked you to be “FSMA Compliant?” Have you heard contradictory information about food safety from different people? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on November 19 for a webinar that goes over produce growers’ frequently asked questions about FSMA and clears up common myths and misconceptions about small farm food safety.  On-farm food safety is a complicated topic that many small...
Written by Jacob Guth on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF, education, events, international, organic market, services

Register now for the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building, and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS, hosted at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California on December 17-19, 2019. CCOF is hosting the GLOBALG.A.P. experts for an in-depth review of the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), with two days of classroom education and one day of on-farm mock inspection using the HPSS.   Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to advance your Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) skills with the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS. Learn everything about the GLOBALG.A.P. System and...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 21, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, general organic, help and tips


Join the CCOF Foundation and Kitchen Table Advisors on October 29 for a webinar that dives into farm business planning from a crop profitability perspective.  Build your crop plan with intention and an expectation to maximize your profits. This webinar will help you think about your crop mix’s ability to generate profit for your farm. Our speaker, David Mancera of Kitchen Table Advisors, will review The importance of understanding a crop’s price-volume relationship,When to begin thinking about crop profitability,Information needed to understand crop profitability,An example of enterprise...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

Are you interested in growing organically, but mystified by the organic certification process?  Join the CCOF Foundation on Monday, October 14 for a webinar that will explain the benefits, costs, and steps of the organic certification process for growers who market directly to consumers.  Some local producers grow and sell organic crops to increase their revenue. Other farmers find the USDA organic seal a convenient way to communicate their farm’s commitment to sustainable growing practices to their customers. Our webinar speaker, Rebecca Silver of CCOF Certification Services, will highlight...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 23, 2019 on advocacy, education, events, general organic

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) advises the California secretary of food and agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state.  COPAC will convene a meeting on September 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau office. Items on the agenda includeNational Organic Program updates, GMO test pilot program update featuring a discussion on synthetic biology, Processor and CalCannabis Subcommittee updates, origin of livestock rule, and access to organic slaughter facilities.  See the full agenda online. The...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, services

Is your produce farm subject to a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspection, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect? Do you have questions about FSMA compliance, but don’t know who to ask?  Join the CCOF Foundation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on September 24 for a webinar that reviews how the FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection process works in California, as well as shares FSMA resources for organic produce growers. CDFA has started its FSMA inspections of produce farms. Produce...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education


Valent CCOF

We study, we practice, and we hope to find success in our chosen fields. For those working in organic agriculture, those fields are both literal and figurative.  After the initial elation—and subsequent shock—of starting your organic farming business, comes the day-to-day tasks. Gone are the days of acquiring permits from the county and spending day in and day out trying to get your business off the ground. You have launched. Your modus operandi has made a sudden and dramatic shift. You’re selling at farmers’ markets, your products have been picked up by retailers, and your business starts to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, standards

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections started this year for large produce farms in California and across the United States. Smaller produce farms will be subject to FSMA inspections in coming years.  If you are still wrapping your head around what FSMA means for your produce farm, the CCOF Foundation’s webinar library hosts a thorough collection of FSMA and food safety webinar recordings. Often hosted in collaboration with Community Alliance of Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild, these webinars present food safety in a manner accessible to growers and agricultural professionals. ...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 29, 2019 on education, events, food safety, general organic

The first of six educational sessions at the third annual Organic Grower Summit (OGS) features a dive into the changing landscape of food safety on organic farms, and how the industry is complying with the new Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule. The session will explore how FDA produce inspections will be rolled out and the changes affecting the leafy greens industry. Together, the six educational sessions will include a range of topics designed to inform and engage organic growers, farmers and producers, and their service and supply chain partners. Farm soil...

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