CCOF Blog

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


FAFO

Join us at the Annual CCOF Foundation Awards Feast to celebrate our 2019 Organic Champion, Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO). FAFO is the largest organic-focused and farmer-funded grant program in the United States. The fund is a means for dairy cooperative Organic Valley farmers to support long-term, sustainable solutions to the problems facing organic. One of the biggest threats to the industry is an aging population of organic producers, and one of the solutions is to inspire and educate the next generation of producers who will assume the responsibility of land stewardship. To address...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 on chapters, education, general organic

The CCOF Fresno-Tulare Chapter is working with Fresno State Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and other stakeholders to develop an Organic Production Systems Certificate of Special Study at Fresno State The proposal to develop this certificate program states: Over the past several years there has been considerable interest in expanding our faculty expertise, course offerings, research and outreach to include a dedicated focus on providing the knowledge and skills necessary for a growing workforce in organic production systems; with an emphasis on field-based experiential...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 21, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Gerald Peters

Gerald Peters is from and currently resides in Willows, California, where he graduated from Willows High School in 2015. After his graduation, he applied for his current job at Tractor Supply Company.  Peters attended Butte College and then transferred to California State University, Chico in fall 2017 to pursue his bachelor’s degree in crop science. After he completes his bachelor's degree, he will apply for a post-graduate degree to further educate himself on the production of crops and plant biology.  Upon the completion of his education, his ultimate career goal is to manage an organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 14, 2019 on general organic, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, regulatory

In late December, 2018, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a final rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule changes the use restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production and/or handling, adds 16 new allowed substances, and prohibits rotenone in organic crop production and ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide. The rule also amends the national organic standards to allow the use of parasiticides in fiber bearing animals. The final rule is comprised of 35 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations. NOSB made the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 14, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sierra Torres

Sierra Torres has a deep desire to return to her community where she knows how to affect the most change. Torres will finish her third and final year at university with a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture in 2019. Over the course of the next year, she will continue to take classes in agriculture education, small farm husbandry, agriculture systems thinking, and run a 20-acre organic vegetable production farm that sells produce to the community through a 150-person CSA, farmers’ markets, local grocery stores, student businesses, and the dining commons on campus.  In addition, Torres...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, NOP, policy


Farm Bill

In late December, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. Crucially, the farm bill includes provisions to authorize and fund the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), and other organic programs. CCOF and our members worked hard to build support for organic priorities in the farm bill throughout 2018. The 2014 Farm Bill expired in September 2018 without a replacement bill. However, Congress successfully pushed for the passage of the farm bill during the lame-duck session, the period after elections but before the new...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, January 7, 2019 on CCOF, farm bill, general organic


Hemp

In December, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law after passage earlier in the month by Congress. The new laws contain many wins for organic, including funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) and the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Additionally, the new farm bill legalized the commercial production of hemp, which will allow hemp grown in the United States to be certified organic. CCOF has continuously monitored hemp throughout the years in anticipation of this legalization and is prepared to certify hemp...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on food safety, general organic, labeling and packaging, regulatory

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law. In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement. The exemption does not apply to products with less than 70 percent organically produced ingredients. Very small food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers who prepare food on-site are also exempt from the labeling rule. For the purpose of this...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, funding


John Taylor

Photo: John Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Brothers Farms While prunes may not be #trending the way we’ve seen kale, sweet potatoes, or açai trend in recent years, prunes have reclaimed their status as a superfood in farmers’ markets across the globe. Prunes provide countless benefits for their consumers. With more antioxidants than blueberries, prunes slow and prevent aging; help your cells recover from oxidative stress (think: work deadlines); and may even prevent diabetes, obesity, and bone loss. Prunes are full of your body’s much needed vitamins and minerals, and they also help maintain a...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, January 7, 2019 on CCOF, employment

CCOF Certification Services, LLC is seeking a Chief Certification Officer (CCO). This position is responsible to the Management Committee of CCOF Certification Services, LLC for the successful execution of certification programs. The CCO reports to the CEO of CCOF, Inc. in the CEO’s capacity as chair of the LLC Management Committee and works collaboratively with the executive leadership team to further CCOF’s mission of advancing organic agriculture for a healthy world. Learn more about this position.
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, events, funding, general organic, grower

If you are considering implementing new practices on your farm to promote healthy soils and build resilience, you might be eligible for up to $75,000 in cost-share grants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Climate Smart Agriculture Program is allocating $15 million for Healthy Soils grants for the coming year. Applications are due March 8, 2019.  Help with PaperworkFree assistance with planning and completing the grant application is available. Wild Farm Alliance will assist growers who contact them at info@wildfarmalliance.org. Together with EcoFarm representatives...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Tickets for the CCOF Foundation food safety workshops in Pacific Grove, CA are going fast. While our workshop in English has sold out, there is still space left in our Spanish food safety workshop. Hosted on January 23 in conjunction with the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, the workshop meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, tickets cost only $35. Don’t miss the January 15 deadline to purchase tickets!You do not need to attend the entire EcoFarm conference to attend the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on general organic

HarvestPort is excited to announce HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement service with many options for the organic grower community, and we want to earn your business. For a limited time, HarvestPort will reimburse the full cost of your 2018 annual CCOF renewal bill. Check out HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement program, and HarvestPort DEALS, an opt-in platform (similar to Groupon) with time-sensitive discounts on agricultural products, services, and technology.  Growers looking for a procurement partner to source the right inputs at favorable prices...
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-...

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