Blog posts by Shawna Rodgers

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, general organic


photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery

Photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery @dawnheumann When asked about how California dairy provider Straus Family Creamery continues to keep their organic producers protected during unprecedented market volatility and consumer purchasing patterns, President Bob McGee responded by saying, “My boss is an organic dairy farmer.” Lucky for their loyal network of consumers, the first-hand perspective of Straus founder and CEO, Albert Straus, influences everything they do as a company. While dairy producers across the country are dumping milk due to hotel and restaurant closures,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic


Uncertainty. Worry. Fear. Concern. Holding the fort down. Struggle. Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruption, health concerns, and financial burdens, these anxieties have landed on the hearts of many in the agricultural community. The people running these businesses need more than financial support; they need resources to manage the exponential mental stress they face every day from the uncertainty of how their businesses may fare. The topic of mental health is still largely unaddressed in the United States farming community, with a “pick...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


If you’ve been reading the CCOF E-Newsletter for a while, you’re likely familiar with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has given more than $600,000 directly to students and teachers who are inspired to study organic. 100% of donations to the fund are given directly to the next generation of organic farmers and producers, made possible with the generosity of households, businesses, and foundations across the country.  Covilli Brand Organics was one of the Fund’s original Champion-level supporters in 2014, part of a group...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Forer

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant recipient Jack Sporer has officially become a small business owner. Sporer launched his own wine label in April 2020, Fresh Wine Company. A brand he calls “wine for the people,” its release comes just in time to satisfy an upswing in demand during stay at home orders enacted across the state of California.     Sporer’s wine focuses on carbon sequestration at each step. They are using lighter bottles, alternative packaging, and connecting local networks of consumers and suppliers to keep his community supported. Sporer’s efforts build integrity and...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 4, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Anandi Ghandi

The CCOF Foundation is now accepting applications for Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grants for higher education and vocational students! Applicants can apply for $2,500 grants to go toward their studies in organic agriculture. The application period is open from May 1 through June 1. Learn more and apply for your $2,500 educational grant.  Due to school closures, the grant application periods for K-8 teachers and National FFA Organization high school students will be postponed until Fall 2020. Check back on the Futue Organic Farmer Grant Fund webpage for updates.  In the interim, please...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 on advocacy, general organic


Blake Alexandre COPAC

CCOF member Blake Alexandre of Alexandre Family Farm has been re-appointed to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC). COPAC advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state. The committee is comprised of 15 primary members plus alternates for each seat.  Alexandre Family Farm has been certified organic since 1999. That’s 21 years of tending to their grass-fed cows, 21 years of giving their children a front-row seat to organic production, and 21 years of providing the most nutritious...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


Photo cred Tommy Martino_Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

Tommy Martino, Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle (left) on the Grain by Grain book tour 2019. As an organic farmer at home in Montana of over 30 years, I see firsthand the bounty created from tending to the land in an organic manner. Butterflies, bees, ladybugs, birds, and countless other creatures are drawn to the land tended organically. Those who work on the soil every day can feel its soft, supple nature underneath their boots. The palpable feeling of health and vitality pouring out of an organic farm is unmatched. That said, there is also science to stand behind the claim that organic is a more...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 2, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Malcolm St Cyr

Many people and organic businesses from around the country often ask those of us at CCOF, “So, does CCOF only work in California?” The short answer is, “No, we’re all across North America!”  CCOF Certification Services certifies more than 4,300 operations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The CCOF Foundation grants to students, teachers, and farms all across the country. So, when we say that we want to create a world where organic is the norm, we mean it. And, we can't do it without confident co-creative efforts from organizations all over the world, organizations like MOM’s...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 2, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, events


On Tuesday, March 3, the CCOF Foundation and the UNFI Foundation will co-host a cocktail hour at Natural Products Expo West to celebrate organic farmers and the next generation of skilled producers creating the organic future.   The event will cap off powerful lectures at Expo West’s Climate Day, including a keynote address from Patagonia’s CEO and President Rose Marcario. Patagonia, one of the CCOF Foundation’s many contributing supporters, continues to set the example for how businesses can build sustainability and social consciousness into their supply chains, community engagement...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 24, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, events, general organic, policy, roadmap


CCOF Advocacy Day

The energy is still buzzing from CCOF’s recent visit to over 50 legislators in Sacramento on February 18 and 19 for Rooting for Organic: CCOF’s 2020 Annual Meeting and advocacy day. Joined by CCOF members, community allies, and organic advocates alike, more than 100 people met in the California State Capitol to engage in the democratic process and make the case that organic is the next step forward for a climate resilient California. From organic farmers and businesses to healthcare professionals, elementary school teachers, and climate advocates, CCOF gathered a diverse coalition in...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, roadmap


Before the Brave by Zack Pianko

Photo by Zack Piánko In the face of climate catastrophes taking place worldwide, CCOF is leading the charge to create a climate-resilient California and United States. On February 18 and 19, CCOF will be joined by California State Senator Anna Caballero at the CCOF Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, where we will release the CCOF Roadmap to an Organic California: Policy Report. The release party for the report will be hosted by the CCOF Foundation, CCOF’s 501c(3) nonprofit arm that supports organic farmers and producers across the entire Untied States. Join us for organic food and cocktails, a...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, roadmap


Anna Caballero

Photo provided by The CeresCourier.com We root for farmers growing organic. We root for producers, packers, and shippers of organic. We root for getting organic in schools. And, we root for the policymakers who move organic agriculture to the forefront as a solution to climate change. Senator Anna Caballero has been a partner and champion in this effort, fighting for farmers, farmworkers, and facing climate change head on. Senator Caballero provided valuable input on CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, and now you can hear from her directly about the powerful potential of organic...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 2, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Ignacio Mendoza

Monday, December 2 is the final day to purchase tickets to attend the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS). If you’re attending OGS, you will not want to be without a seat to this beautiful event.  The California Strawberry Commission recently produced this video about CCOF-certified organic farmer José Mendoza and his family. José’s son Ignacio was the first in his family to attend college, and we are proud to support his education through the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Ignacio will be joining us as a speaker for the evening, building upon the legacy set forth by...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 18, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Ignacio Mendoza

Growing organic agriculture relies on supporting the next generation of organic farmers, and this is your opportunity to learn more about what a future organic farmer’s journey looks like. You’ll be able to meet Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient Ignacio Mendoza when he speaks at the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit on December 4.  Not only is Mendoza the first of his family to attend college, he’s also the first of his family to graduate from high school. A CCOF-certified member, Mendoza grew up helping his father grow organic strawberries on the central coast of...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Whiskey West

On Wednesday, December 4, the CCOF Foundation will host its third annual CCOF Foundation Feast benefit dinner at the Organic Grower Summit. All proceeds from this event directly benefit the 501(c)(3) nonprofit programs of the CCOF Foundation, and aside from the wonderful speakers, awarding of the Organic Champion Award, organic menu, and opportunity to hear from a Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient, guests will also enjoy live music by Santa Cruz local band Whiskey West.  Whiskey West plays a mix of positive energy bluegrass and down-home country. Be sure to register yourself for the...

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