Blog posts by education

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 Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, pests and pesticides


strawberries

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 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 Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

It’s time to put organic food on more kids’ plates, and the California legislature may be willing to help. California Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s new bill, AB 958, will create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program. The pilot program will help qualifying school districts purchase organic food, offering up to 15 cents per meal. If successful, the bill will bring more organic food to California’s schools, which is great for the health of our children, a win for climate, and a boost for innovative farming communities growing food without toxic pesticides. California is the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, funding, general organic

California farmers and ranchers interested in receiving a grant to implement new soil-building practices on their land can receive free application support from technical assistance providers.Resource Conservation Districts and nonprofit organizations throughout the state have signed up to help potential applicants. Some of these technical assistance providers are holding informational workshops on how to apply. See the full list of providers and workshops.There are two different funding opportunities under Healthy Soils:The Healthy Soils Incentives program provides funding to implement...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 on chapters, education, general organic

The CCOF Fresno-Tulare Chapter is working with Fresno State Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and other stakeholders to develop an Organic Production Systems Certificate of Special Study at Fresno State The proposal to develop this certificate program states: Over the past several years there has been considerable interest in expanding our faculty expertise, course offerings, research and outreach to include a dedicated focus on providing the knowledge and skills necessary for a growing workforce in organic production systems; with an emphasis on field-based experiential...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Tickets for the CCOF Foundation food safety workshops in Pacific Grove, CA are going fast. While our workshop in English has sold out, there is still space left in our Spanish food safety workshop. Hosted on January 23 in conjunction with the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, the workshop 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, tickets cost only $35. Don’t miss the January 15 deadline to purchase tickets!You do not need to attend the entire EcoFarm conference to attend the...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Join the CCOF Foundation on January 23, 2019 in Pacific Grove, California for the final trainings in our FSMA food safety workshop series. The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish and meet 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.  Our January trainings are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm conference. You do not need to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, member news

Peterson Family Farms and Three Sisters Organic are featured farmers in a new television documentary series called “Beyond the Harvest.” The series explores the farm to table phenomenon and highlights businesses in California’s Central Valley.  The series will air for 13 weeks in Fresno, Chico, Redding, and Bakersfield. Episodes will also be released online. The broadcast schedule is available online. The first episode of the series highlights Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms. The series’ host Ray O’Canto explores the Peterson Family Farms orchards and packing facility following...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
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 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 Guest Blogger on Monday, October 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Myra & Drew with Earthbound Truck

Earthbound Farm founders Myra and Drew Goodman were fresh out of college when they decided to move to the Salinas Valley. With the intention of taking a year off before entering the “real” world, Myra and Drew agreed to clean up the farm on which they lived in exchange for free rent.  The Goodmans were shocked to discover that part of maintaining the farm was adhering to a strict chemical spray schedule to keep the raspberries free of pests. They saw this and thought, “This is how our food is made?”  When Myra and Drew realized that the fruits and vegetables they eat were being treated with...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 15, 2018 on biodiversity, education, events, general organic

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Hedgerows Unlimited will host a workshop to demonstrate how to plant hedgerows and to outline their benefits on November 10, 2018, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.   Hedgerows provide habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators, serve as windbreaks and visual barriers, sequester carbon, and protect against soil erosion. Beneficial insects attracted by hedgerows can reduce pests and sometimes increase crop and forage growth and yield.  Hedgerows also can produce crops, such as lavender, persimmon, nuts, and/or flowers.   The free workshop and planting...

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