CCOF Blog

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 22, 2021 on materials and inputs, NOSB

Deadlines are approaching to submit public comments and register for oral comments for the spring 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. We encourage CCOF members to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances, especially regarding substances listed on their Organic System Plan.Crop MaterialsCopper sulfate (§205.601(a)(3) & §205.601(e)(4))The NOSB will review copper sulfate for use as an algicide in aquatic rice systems and as tadpole shrimp control in aquatic rice production at the...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed


FOF

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Malcolm St. CyrMalcolm St. Cyr has a wealth of life experience and a wide world view that will help advance organic in the United States and globally. Born and raised between Washington D.C. and Senegal, St. Cyr has been challenged to learn English, French, Arabic, and Wolof (a Senegalese dialect), as well as the ways of two different countries and cultures. His goals are rooted in his life experience in sub-Saharan Africa, where he learned the importance and the challenges of community and regional food sovereignty. One important answer St....
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021 on advocacy, policy

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 15, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, organic training institute


FSMA

Join the CCOF Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on March 23 for a webinar that will provide updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.As of January 2020, farms with more than $25,000 in annual produce sales need to comply with the federal FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The March 23 webinar will provide a brief overview of the three legal classifications for farms: fully exempt, qualified exempt (partially exempt), and fully covered (full compliance required). Presenters from CAFF and the FDA’s...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 15, 2021 on crisis resilience


Farmworkers

Though the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends prioritizing food and agricultural workers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by placing them in the phase 1B eligibility tier, states vary in prioritizing these workers.According to an article in the Insurance Journal, some states are elevating the elderly and other essential workers over food and agricultural workers.For information on vaccine availability in your state, visit the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine webpage and select your state in the box labeled “How Do I Get a Vaccine?” For information on vaccines in California, visit...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 15, 2021 on education, events


soil

The California Farm Demonstration Network (CDFN) is hosting a four-part series about California soils. This series will feature four speakers, each with extensive knowledge of California agriculture and soils. Speakers will cover various topics, including composting, orchard recycling, soil sampling, testing for microbial dynamics, and more.PART 1 | March 24, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.“What happens to soil properties when you add compost or cover crop?”Meeting RegistrationPART 2 | April 21, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.“What are the benefits of whole orchard recycling, including disease...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 8, 2021 on education


The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) new Farm to School Grant Program, released in January 2021, brings welcome news to organic fields and public school lunchrooms alike. With a declared purpose of encouraging schools to buy from small and medium-sized farms, farms using climate-smart practices, and from Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, this program does more than just feed children: it seeks to ensure their futures are resilient and equitable.The program recognizes that organic, transitioning to organic, and certified 100 percent grassfed...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 8, 2021 on statistics

This year's California Agricultural Statistics Review, released annually by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), includes statewide organic data, an addition to the report first made last year.According to CDFA records collected from the State Organic Program, organic farmgate sales in 2019 totaled $10.4 billion, a 3.5 percent increase over 2018 organic sales.A closer look at the data shows that crop, feed, and fiber producers had the largest increase in sales, up 12.4 percent from 2018. Handler sales increased by only 1.5 percent between 2018 and 2019, while organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 8, 2021 on conservation


The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address high-priority concerns around natural resources. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance–the higher the performance, the higher the payment. The 2021 CSP application deadline is March 26, 2021.Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners expand stewardship activities and receive payments for both their existing conservation...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 1, 2021 on advocacy, livestock, policy


In today’s world, pet goats participate in yoga classes, apartment building walls bear signs advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs,” and the consumer appetite for organic meat and dairy is skyrocketing. Despite this popular sentiment, a lack of investment in regional meat supply chains threatens the future of regional, organic, and regenerative ranching.California’s farmers and their four-legged flocks face severe and longstanding bottlenecks in the final steps along the meat supply chain from ranch to roast: slaughter, cut and wrap, and value-added processing. In the last 50 years, California has...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education


collaboration

In my last blog, Delegating Responsibilities to Lighten Your Workload, I discussed strategies for handing off tasks to employees to allow for personal time or exciting work projects.With my extra time, I like to cultivate creative collaborations with other food businesses. These mutually beneficial relationships increase marketing exposure and income for both businesses.Typically, these collaborations arise organically. For instance, I have excess blueberries, and a fellow business owner who I know from the farmers' market makes a product that can utilize blueberries.Benefits of...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers


David Robles

Last Thursday, February 18, CCOF held its first fully virtual annual meeting, Cultivate and Nourish. While we look forward to being together again soon, holding this event virtually allowed for unprecedented attendance and participation. Farmers, ranchers, and producers who typically lack time to attend conferences were able to log in from the comfort of their homes and hear directly from CCOF’s CEO Kelly Damewood and CCOF Board Chair Phil LaRocca.David Robles, program manager for food justice organization Food, What?! and former participant in CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Famer program,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Rustic Canyon Family

PHOTO: Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, by Rick PoonThe CCOF Foundation is thrilled to announce its newest Visionary-level supporter, the Rustic Canyon Family. This independent restaurant group in Santa Monica, California, features a variety of neighborhood dining destinations in partnership with talented and award-winning leaders in food and wine. Learn more about the family at their website.  Since the 2006 opening of farmers’-market-driven and Michelin-starred Rustic Canyon, the family has expanded to include Huckleberry Bakery & Café, Sweet Rose Creamery, Milo & Olive, Cassia, Esters...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, organic training institute


CCOF now has a YouTube channel! If you are curious to learn how to run a socially distanced drive-through farm stand, get the latest on sustainable produce packaging, or find out what it takes for an organic farmer to get certified as Biodynamic, search no further than CCOF’s YouTube channel.The channel hosts all of the CCOF Foundation’s previous webinars, including topics on organic recordkeeping, food safety for produce growers, and farm business management.Subscribe to the channel to get the latest information on timely topics for organic producers.
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on education, grower

As regional agricultural orders mandate more rigorous nutrient and irrigation management, fine-tuning nitrogen applications is an increasingly important skill for organic growers.To help address this challenge, University of California Cooperative Extension specialists are offering a three-part online workshop, Practical Training on Nitrogen Management in Organic Production of Vegetables and Strawberries, which will be held the first three Tuesdays in March from 9-11 a.m.Over the three sessions, experts will discuss sources of nitrogen and their roles in organic soil fertility and the...

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