CCOF Blog

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 advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research


Bonterra

As the buzz continues to grow about soil’s dynamic relationship with climate resilience, more and more organic growers are curious about how their farming practices can fit into the widespread push for climate solutions. Bonterra Organic Vineyards, based in Mendocino County, is one of them. In 2017-18, the acclaimed California vintner teamed up with Pacific Agroecology of Davis, California to study how their vineyard management practices affect organic carbon storage in soil and plants. Ultimately, the study measured carbon storage in Bonterra’s regeneratively farmed, organic, and Biodynamic...
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, June 24, 2019 on general organic, research


crimson clover

Farmers around the country are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice. Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by USDA-SARE, looks at the economics of cover crops to help farmers answer that big question: "When do cover crops pay?" The key, says North Dakota farmer Justin Zahradka, who has been planting cover crops since 2011, is to “look at cover crops as an investment rather than a cost.” Download or order Cover Crop Economics now! Print copies will be available...
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 Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, food safety

Confused about what records you are required to keep for compliance with the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? Not sure how those records overlap with what you are already doing for your organic certification? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) for a webinar on June 18 that clearly explains what records are required for produce farms that must fully comply with FSMA and how those records align with USDA National Organic Program recordkeeping requirements.Farms that must fully comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has selected 217 projects for award, totaling approximately $12.48 million in grant requests, through its Healthy Soils Program. This program encourages farmers and ranchers to implement practices that reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, sequester carbon in soils, and improve soil health.“California leads the nation in supporting innovative climate smart agriculture programs that address on-farm challenges and promote agricultural and environmental sustainability,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Soil health is key to agricultural...
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 Peter Nell on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Two CCOF-supported bills to streamline industrial hemp regulations in California have cleared their house of origin. Senator Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) Senate Bill (SB) 153 received no opposition votes through the Senate and was voted into the Assembly. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s (D-Winters) Assembly Bill (AB) 228 also did not receive opposition votes through the Assembly and was voted to the Senate. Both bills will now move through the senate and assembly before being sent to the governor’s desk for signature into law. SB 153 revises provisions regulating industrial hemp...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, funding, general organic

National Program The USDA is accepting applications for up to $12.5 million in grant funding for the adoption of innovative conservation projects on agricultural lands. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, which funds projects in areas including soil health, irrigation efficiency, wildlife and pollinator habitat, water and air quality, greenhouse gas markets, on-farm energy use, and conservation finance.  NRCS will accept applications through July 29, 2019, for up to $2 million in funding per project. Applicants must...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, June 3, 2019 on CCOF, cost share, general organic


cost share

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2019 applications! All currently certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs paid between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. Eligible scopes are crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling. Operations located in California can also receive a refund of their State Organic Program registration fees.  CCOF encourages all members to apply for...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its Fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 23-25. The meeting will include updates from various subcommittees, votes to retain or remove substances from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List), and votes on other proposals.  NOSB encourages public comments on proposals that will be discussed and voted on during the meeting. The deadline to submit written comments or requests for oral comment speaking slots is October 3. Opportunities for oral comments will be available via webinar on...

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