CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on food safety, general organic, labeling and packaging, regulatory

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law. In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement. The exemption does not apply to products with less than 70 percent organically produced ingredients. Very small food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers who prepare food on-site are also exempt from the labeling rule. For the purpose of this...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, funding


John Taylor

Photo: John Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Brothers Farms While prunes may not be #trending the way we’ve seen kale, sweet potatoes, or açai trend in recent years, prunes have reclaimed their status as a superfood in farmers’ markets across the globe. Prunes provide countless benefits for their consumers. With more antioxidants than blueberries, prunes slow and prevent aging; help your cells recover from oxidative stress (think: work deadlines); and may even prevent diabetes, obesity, and bone loss. Prunes are full of your body’s much needed vitamins and minerals, and they also help maintain a...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, January 7, 2019 on CCOF, employment

CCOF Certification Services, LLC is seeking a Chief Certification Officer (CCO). This position is responsible to the Management Committee of CCOF Certification Services, LLC for the successful execution of certification programs. The CCO reports to the CEO of CCOF, Inc. in the CEO’s capacity as chair of the LLC Management Committee and works collaboratively with the executive leadership team to further CCOF’s mission of advancing organic agriculture for a healthy world. Learn more about this position.
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, events, funding, general organic, grower

If you are considering implementing new practices on your farm to promote healthy soils and build resilience, you might be eligible for up to $75,000 in cost-share grants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Climate Smart Agriculture Program is allocating $15 million for Healthy Soils grants for the coming year. Applications are due March 8, 2019.  Help with PaperworkFree assistance with planning and completing the grant application is available. Wild Farm Alliance will assist growers who contact them at info@wildfarmalliance.org. Together with EcoFarm representatives...
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on general organic

HarvestPort is excited to announce HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement service with many options for the organic grower community, and we want to earn your business. For a limited time, HarvestPort will reimburse the full cost of your 2018 annual CCOF renewal bill. Check out HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement program, and HarvestPort DEALS, an opt-in platform (similar to Groupon) with time-sensitive discounts on agricultural products, services, and technology.  Growers looking for a procurement partner to source the right inputs at favorable prices...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is updating the agricultural order that regulates discharges from irrigated farmland. A comment period is now open with comments due by 8 a.m. on January 22, 2019.   Submit comments to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov and indicate in the subject line “Comments to Ag Order 4.0 Options Tables.” Read the notice of public comment period. The regional water board will accept comments on any topic related to the new version of the ag order. The board specifically requests comments on an “options table” that lays out existing and proposed options for...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 7, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Makshya Tolbert

Organic farming is a trade and lifestyle that naturally lends itself to storytelling. Makshya Tolbert first found that to be true as an undergrad, studying the intersection of nature poetry and black history and wanting to write poems that expressed the intimacy between the two. Tolbert began learning to grow food on campus farms and gardens and felt empowered to write about her experiences. She was eager to fill the gap of women of color farmers, striving to reassert our multidimensional roles across the environment. Since then, Tolbert has met black farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and thru-...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 17, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


OGS 2018

The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) held last week at the Monterey Conference Center was a resounding success! With close to 800 participants, the show featured a well-rounded trade show, talks on cutting edge organic technology, and a fabulous dinner benefiting the CCOF Foundation.   OGS co-founders, Tonya Antle and Matt Seeley, presented the CCOF Foundation a donation of $35,000 to support the Foundation’s work to educate and support organic producers.  Thaddeus Barsotti, a CCOF board member, was awarded the Grower of the Year award. Barsotti was selected based on his ongoing commitment and...
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 Laura Mathias on Monday, December 17, 2018 on CCOF

As you gather close to family this time of year, our staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed from December 24 through January 1. We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return. Thank you for your support of organic in 2018! Happy holidays!
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association for the organic community in North America. OTA has a crucial presence in Washington D.C. and is influential in the development of federal organic policies. OTA’s members work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect farming practices and to share the benefits of organic with consumers, media, and policymakers. Working together with OTA allows CCOF to join with other farmers, processors, handlers, and stakeholders to advocate nationally for the organic principles we all...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 17, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Krueger

Alicia Krueger has worked on her parent's conventional dairy farm from the time she was old enough to hand towels and feed calves. During high school, Krueger was vice president of her National FFA Organization chapter. After graduating, she took agribussiness/agriscience classes as well as a Dairy Herd Management classes, both through Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College. In December 2015, Krueger returned to her family farm, which became certified organic in 2009, and has been there ever since.  Kruger plans to continue to work on her parents’ organic dairy farm part-time and work full-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...

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