Blog posts by education

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, marketing, survey

Undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Kindra Fulton is conducting a research project on behalf of the College of Agriculture. The project focuses on promoting California grown specialty crops at trade shows. Fulton was born and raised in Salinas, California with deep ties in and a passion for the agriculture industry.  Fulton has created a five-minute survey and is searching for respondents. The survey is most applicable to individuals in the specialty crop industry who have the knowledge to answer specific questions about their company’s use of...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, July 8, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, general organic

Join the CCOF Foundation and the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets this summer for a series of webinars about organic certification geared specifically for farmers’ market managers.  Our fist webinar—Organic Certification 101 on July 22—will review the basics of organic certification for farms and highlight organic best practices for farmers’ markets. Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms will lead the webinar. Drawing on her knowledge as an organic inspector and nearly two decades of organic farming experience, Collins will answer common questions about organic, including:What is organic?...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 8, 2019 on education, general organic, grants

Aspiring organic farmers and gardeners are invited to apply for the 2020 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Now in its 52nd year, the apprenticeship is the longest running university-based organic farming training program in the United States. This year’s program will offer a record number of scholarships to participants. The six-month, full-time residential program takes place at the 30-acre organic farm and three-acre Alan Chadwick Garden on the UCSC campus. The apprenticeship blends experiential learning with traditional classroom...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, help and tips

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California, Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. “SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic, policy, research

Invoking the challenges American farmers have faced from increased weather extremes, Brise Tencer, the Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), presented testimony last week to the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research during its hearing on Increasing Resiliency, Mitigating Risk: Examining the Research and Extension Needs of Producers. Tencer, who previously served as policy director at CCOF, cited OFRF studies that characterize organic farmers’ research needs. She explained how organic farming practices sequester...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic

National Center for Appropriate Technology and National Farm to School Network Awarded USDA Cooperative Agreement to Help Producers Market to Schools  The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) are pleased to announce their partnership with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. The goal of the partnership is to help agricultural producers build their capacity to launch or expand efforts to market to schools. Gwen Holcomb, director of...
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...

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