CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic


Monarch

California agricultural producers can voluntarily help the monarch butterfly on their farms and ranches through a variety of conservation practices offered by the USDA.  “With the monarch butterfly’s western population in peril, we’re encouraging California producers to make simple tweaks on their farms that can go a long way for this iconic species,” said Carlos Suarez, state conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California. “NRCS offers more than three dozen conservation practices that enable producers to help monarchs and other pollinators as well as...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, policy


California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force.  CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, member news

Join us for the annual CCOF Processor/Handler Chapter meeting in Fresno, California, on February 27, 2019, at 3:40 p.m. Pacific Time.This meeting is being held at the DoubleTree Hilton at the end of the CCOF Annual Conference. Learn more about the full conference.*If you cannot join the chapter meeting in person you can do so remotely via GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting Virtual Attendance RegistrationProcessor/Handler Chapter Meeting Agenda:Chapter businessCall for chapter officer nominationsGuest speaker on building your brand through social media Our guest speaker, Summer Ashley Singletary, Co-...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until April 16, 2019, via www.regulations.gov under Docket Number AMS-NOP-18- 0051.Proposed reclassification of magnesium chloride as nonsyntheticMagnesium chloride derived from sea water is currently listed at §...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research, survey


Herbicides in Irrigation Water

Protecting our CCOF-certified organic farm from external herbicide contamination has been an ongoing challenge. For over forty years, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), our local water purveyor, has used herbicides to manage the unlined ditches that bring our irrigation water.We believe the time has come to stop the application of elemental copper- and glyphosate-based herbicides to raw water canals statewide. To this end, we ask to draw on the experience of California’s certified organic farmers to learn more about other irrigation districts throughout the state. Does your water purveyor...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, funding, general organic

California farmers and ranchers interested in receiving a grant to implement new soil-building practices on their land can receive free application support from technical assistance providers.Resource Conservation Districts and nonprofit organizations throughout the state have signed up to help potential applicants. Some of these technical assistance providers are holding informational workshops on how to apply. See the full list of providers and workshops.There are two different funding opportunities under Healthy Soils:The Healthy Soils Incentives program provides funding to implement...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers

The goal of Cordova Jr./Sr. High School’s project was for students to learn how to grow healthy food in sustainable manner. In the fall, students used tools purchased with grant funds to transplant perennials and create new growing areas for the spring. They created vermiculture buckets and introduced thousands of worms to a favorable composting environment, nurtured them over the winter, and collected worm castings to make seed starter. In the spring, students started over 350 seedlings to transplant around their town in hanging baskets and barrels.Their system of composting fruit and...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


AliceWatters

Join us February 26-27 for the CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference–Organic Generation: The Next Era. You’ll hear from a host of inspiring speakers and presenters, including acclaimed chef, author, and food activist Alice Waters; investigative journalist and author of Whitewash Carey Gillam; CEO of the Ceres Community Project Cathryn Couch; and more. Take a look at our full speaker lineup and prepare to be inspired. The event will bring CCOF members and supporters from across North America to Fresno, California–home to generations of organic farmers. There, the program will examine the ongoing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, events, financial assistance, general organic

Over its 20-year history, California FarmLink has developed its focus around three core elements for farm and ranch success: strong business skills, fair financing, and secure land tenure. We’re quick to add that growers benefit from fair and appropriate financing, with an overarching goal of enabling farmers and ranchers to build wealth through short-term profits or acquisition of assets. With our eyes on wealth-building, California FarmLink will enable growers to compare financing options at the Growing Opportunity: Farm Finance Expo on Thursday, February 28 in Clovis, California, the day...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

The members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) elected new leadership at their meeting during the annual EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. The committee elected Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres as chair of the committee and Jeremy Johnson of Traditional Medicinals as vice chair. COPAC is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic agriculture and issues related to organic production. COPAC’s 15 members and 15 alternate members represent organic producers, wholesalers, technical representatives,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 4, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, general organic


Earl Herrick, Robert Lichtenberg, Sovita Sau and Jeff Flowers Tomatero Farm Tour

If you take a glance at the “Who We Are” page of the Earl’s Organic Produce website, you’ll see countless references to Earl’s commitment to maintaining partnerships in organic. “Cultivating enduring partnerships,” connecting “those who produce and consume organic food,” and “creating mutually beneficial, meaningful, and committed relationships across the food chain,” are but a few highlights that reveal the culture of community that interweaves all operations at this San Francisco-based company. CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are grateful to be amongst those partners.   For many years, Earl’s...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Happy Valley Elementary School

Happy Valley Elementary School in Santa Cruz, California received a grant for the entire school population of 152 K-6 grade students to participate in the planting, care, and eating of an organic salad. Each grade was responsible for growing one part of the salad from seed to harvest: kindergarten students grew carrots, first-grade students grew spinach, second-grade students grew lettuce, third-grade students grew beets, a combo class of fourth- and fifth-grade students grew radishes, and a combo class of fifth- and sixth-grade students grew celery. Their biggest achievement is that the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, January 28, 2019 on food safety, inspection


CCOF Food Safety

The winter months are when organic producers are busy pouring over seed catalogs, considering planting schedules and reviewing land or sales contracts. While not at the very top of the list of things to do, scheduling annual organic and food safety inspections also deserves attention. CCOF would like to help!Overlapping regulations and requirements for modern farms have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue”. Since the inception of our food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined organic and food safety inspection to cut down the time spent reviewing documents and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 28, 2019 on labor, survey

The California Farm Bureau Federation, in collaboration with UC Davis, is conducting their third Ag Labor Scarcity survey.The survey will be open through Tuesday, February 5. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. The purpose of the survey is to collect information about how farmers are adapting to reduced farmworker availability, which will be used for a statistical study. The statistical study will be used to inform farmers, leaders, and other interested parties about how these issues are affecting farmers in California.Your responses will remain anonymous, confidential, and will be grouped...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 28, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


FOFGF

Pueblo Vista Magnet Elementary School Napa, California The mission of Pueblo Vista Magnet School is to promote environmental literacy through bilingual education. The school community strives to develop biliterate learners whose ability to engage in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, and creativity leads to a more environmentally-just society. Organic gardening is an ideal context for developing these habits of mind by bringing science learning to life in the school garden.As a result of this grant, the school had a reason to plant more and different...

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