CCOF Blog

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...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF, member news

CCOF recently assisted National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz with identifying organic farms for aerial photos to accompany an article titled “We don’t have enough organic farms. Why not?” by journalist Rachel Cernansky. The article describes the growth of organic agriculture in the United States and the challenges faced by organic farmers. With the support of CCOF and other organic organizations, the article featured photos from organic farms across the country, including Alexandre Family Farms, Driscoll’s, Woodspur Farms, Earthbound Farms, and McEvoy Ranch. Read the full article...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers

In the future, Danielle Haefner hopes to take over managing a small ag operation on her family's farmland in Wisconsin. While the land has been in her family for four generations, Haefner’s great-grandfather was the only family member to focus on agriculture. When he stopped raising black angus in the early 1970s, the farm was transitioned to large scale row crop production. Haefner would like to be the force that changes the path of this land for the better. She believes it needs to be holistically tended to and revived and she would like to do this by rotationally grazing a small-scale...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, member news

Peterson Family Farms and Three Sisters Organic are featured farmers in a new television documentary series called “Beyond the Harvest.” The series explores the farm to table phenomenon and highlights businesses in California’s Central Valley.  The series will air for 13 weeks in Fresno, Chico, Redding, and Bakersfield. Episodes will also be released online. The broadcast schedule is available online. The first episode of the series highlights Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms. The series’ host Ray O’Canto explores the Peterson Family Farms orchards and packing facility following...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...

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