CCOF Blog

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 25, 2019 on general organic

According to a recently released report by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California’s gross sales revenue from certified organic processed products grew from $11.65 billion in 2017 to $13.17 billion in 2018. These figures show continued growth for the sector, which includes organic products such as cheese, fruit juice, and dried pasta. CDPH, which provides oversight of processed food for the State Organic Program, provides an annual report on the number of organic registrants, annual gross sales, and the amount of each organic processed product type sold.  The report also...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Gabriela Verdusco

My name is Gabriela Verdusco. I'm am from Le Grand CA, a small town in the Central Valley. After high school I attended Merced Community College to obtain my Associates in general agriculture while working for the Le Grand High agricultural department as a teacher’s aide. I also spent a significant amount of time on my family’s almond orchard assisting my dad with day to day chores. After attending my junior college, I transferred to CSU Chico to pursue a degree in Animal Science. When I'm not studying, I am working at the Chico State Organic Dairy where I discovered my passion for organic...
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 Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 18, 2019 on

Curious how other small-scale farmers are addressing food safety on their farms? Check out The Farmers Beet Podcast by Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) and hear stories from farmers around California about their food safety techniques. Listen to episodes that highlight food safety techniques from Live Oak Farm in Petaluma, California, Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California, and other farms around the Golden State.  Learn from farmers as they discuss innovative food safety recordkeeping for composting systems, step-by-step approaches to integrating food safety into...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 18, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic


Morales Conservation Tillage

Healthy soils are key to organic farming and reducing soil disturbance is a cornerstone to improving soil health. No-till methods have spread to vegetable production on some small farms, but how can larger acreage be farmed to minimize soil disturbance?  A workshop on December 6 in Watsonville will highlight the conservation low-tillage methods and equipment developed by Israel Morales, voted Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. Not only does reduced tillage improve soil health, it also saves time between crops, reduces fuel costs, and saves on labor.   The workshop...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 18, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) released a final rule amending the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Effective November 22, 2019, the NOP will add two substances to the National List and reclassify magnesium chloride. The rule is based off recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board’s spring 2018 meeting. The final rule expands the use of elemental sulfur in organic crop production by adding it to § 205.601(h) for use as a molluscicide bait to control slugs and snails. Elemental sulfur is already allowed for use as an insecticide, as plant...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Blake Lineweaver

Blake Lineweaver is currently a senior in agronomy and international agriculture at Iowa State University and is pursuing a career in sustainable, nonprofit-oriented production agriculture. Lineweaver hails from Okoboji, Iowa, otherwise known as Iowa’s “Great Lakes” region, and was infused from an early age with a profound appreciation for rural communities, the environment, and our bountiful natural resources.  From serving as vice president of community service for the interfraternity council to participating in a service-learning program in Kamuli, Uganda this last summer, Lineweaver has...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Have you heard conflicting information about how the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) applies to small produce farmers? Has a buyer asked you to be “FSMA Compliant?” Have you heard contradictory information about food safety from different people? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on November 19 for a webinar that goes over produce growers’ frequently asked questions about FSMA and clears up common myths and misconceptions about small farm food safety.  On-farm food safety is a complicated topic that many small...
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...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Now is the time to support the implementation of the long-overdue Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The rule would ensure clear and enforceable requirements for the sourcing of organic dairy herds by requiring new dairy animals to be managed organically from at least the last third of gestation. The organic community has advocated for this rule for many years. Inconsistent interpretation of the current rule has put some farmers at a disadvantage in an already struggling industry. On October 1, 2019, the USDA reopened the rule’s public comment period. Organic farmers, industry stakeholders,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program released a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The proposed rule is based off public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board from 2018. Stakeholders may submit comment on the proposed amendment by December 17, 2019. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov using Docket Number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1913. The proposed rule would:Allow the use of blood meal made with sodium citrate to be used as a soil amendmentProhibit the use of natamycin in organic crop productionAllow tamarind seed gum to be...
Written by Jacob Guth on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF, education, events, international, organic market, services

Register now for the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building, and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS, hosted at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California on December 17-19, 2019. CCOF is hosting the GLOBALG.A.P. experts for an in-depth review of the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), with two days of classroom education and one day of on-farm mock inspection using the HPSS.   Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to advance your Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) skills with the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS. Learn everything about the GLOBALG.A.P. System and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on food safety, general organic

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, growers using a treated Biological Soil Amendment of Animal Origin (BSAAO), such as compost, are required to keep documentation that the amendment was properly treated, handled, and stored before being applied to a produce field. This documentation is especially important as growers prepare for FSMA Produce Safety Rule compliance and inspections. Though FDA does not have jurisdiction over companies that supply treated BSAAOs, suppliers should be prepared to provide this documentation to growers as needed. This factsheet...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on general organic, policy

USDA released an interim final rule to establish a domestic hemp production program. The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production. The framework will work in tandem with state production plans which must be submitted to USDA for review and approval. Hemp producers must comply with both USDA’s and their state’s regulations on the production of hemp.  The interim rule is effective October 31, 2019 through November 1, 2021. The interim final rule is open for public comment until December 30, 2019 using Regulations.gov docket number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1919...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Anandi Gandhi

Originally from India, Anandi Gandhi is currently an agroecology apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems based on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. Over the last 10 years, Gandhi has gained experience in regenerative design, organic farming, environmental education and research through working in both India and the United States. Gandhi hopes to use her agriculture training to work with farmers at the edges of where wildlife and farmlands meet and struggle for space and survival. Congratulations Anandi! Please join us in congratulating the...

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