CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 24, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items.Click here to read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews).Crop scope substances:Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanolSodium carbonate peroxyhydrateNewspaper...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 24, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Dylan

My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is organic vegetable production. My garden currently produces 200 pounds of produce each summer, and I recently expanded my garden to include shiitake mushrooms. My mushrooms gave me 15 pounds of produce this past summer.  I'd like to increase my mushroom production so I can sell at the local farmers’ market. I can use the logs for approximately six years and after a one year wait for the first crop, I will be able to harvest mushrooms twice a year. The profit over six years will allow for replacement logs, thus sustaining my SAE. ...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, standards


Ask Me About What's Not in Organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week that lists hundreds of chemicals and processes used in conventional food production that are prohibited in organic. The list includes the use of GMOs, glyphosate, sewage sludge, artificial preservatives, irradiation, and more.  The ad is in response to the Wall Street Journal running an opinion editorial making false claims about organic. CCOF board member and certified organic farmer Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics submitted a letter to the editor responding to the claims made in the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, September 17, 2018 on food safety, general organic, inspection

Organic producers are busy and have a lot going on, especially during harvest. Overlapping regulations and requirements for a modern farm and all the inspections that result have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue.” Since the inception of CCOF’s food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined food safety and organic inspection to reduce the amount of time these inspections take them away from what they love to do: work their farms.  CCOF, an organization that is governed by a board of organic producers, heard you loud and clear. We began cross-training GlobalG.A.P...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

CCOF joined with 27 diverse organizations to request that the Senate and House agriculture committee leadership include provisions supporting urban agriculture in the 2018 Farm Bill. CCOF supports expanding resources for farmers, and urban agriculture is a growing sector that increases opportunities for local organic foods in metropolitan areas. The letter notes that expanding support for urban agriculture will create economic opportunities and inspire a new generation of young and beginning farmers.  The letter requests that the farm bill require USDA create the Office of Urban Agriculture...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on materials, materials and inputs, NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 24-26, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-18-0029-0001 until October 4, 2018. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their spring 2018 meeting in Tucson, AZ and completed...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 17, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte, North Carolina. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. Cureton attends North Carolina A&T State University as a senior agricultural education major with a concentration in extension and professional services. Although Cureton did not have much exposure to agriculture as a child, his love for nature and the outdoors was very evident, solidifying a strong appreciation of nature at an early age. He realized a great disconnect between agriculture and...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 10, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic


For all the philanthropic work Arnott and Kathleen Duncan do, it may surprise you to learn that they are farmers first and nonprofit professionals second. For nearly three decades, the Duncans have worked to educate the next generation of agriculture professionals. From offering educational farm tours in the past, to providing support for current employees and their families via Duncan Family Farms University, offering an Education Assistance Program for their employees, and even hosting a book drive that provided books to students in communities where they are rooted, Duncan Family Farms...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 10, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lehia Apana

Lehia Apana and her husband own a three-acre property in Waiehu on the island of Maui. This small town is part of a larger area that was historically considered Maui's "breadbasket" because of its food abundance. When Apana and her husband purchased their property about one year ago, it was covered in eight-foot-tall guinea grass. As they cleared the land to prepare for farming, they were surprised and delighted to find that the traditional-style terraces used for growing kalo (taro) were still intact! As a Native Hawaiian, Apana understands that kalo is more than food—it’s identity. The...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 3, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


John Gove

John Gove grew up on a small, diverse vegetable farm and will be the seventh generation of his family to take it over. Throughout his first year studying horticultural science, vegetable and fruit production, and sustainability at Michigan State University, Gove’s eyes were opened to organic farming. He hopes to be able to further his education and implement organic practices at his farm to better serve his community for years to come. Congratulations John! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A jam-packed agenda awaits members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC), which will convene Wed., Sept. 5, at 10 am in the Wonderful Conference Room at the Jordan Agricultural Research Center, California State University Fresno. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and share their thoughts during the public comment session.  COPAC advises the California secretary of food and agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state. The committee is comprised of 15 primary members plus alternates for each seat.  For the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news

I was lucky enough visit Whisky Hill Farms and Blume Distillation this summer. I was blown away by the scope of this 14-acre certified organic farm. Not only are they the largest producer of domestic Turmeric, but they provide answers to the food waste dilemma by producing high grade commercial alcohol. I soon learned that everything that comes from the distillery goes right back into the farm! This is the second of a two-part blog focused on food waste.   Composting in place After learning about the distillery, we came upon a prodigious mound of traditional looking compost, but this one held...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

A small bill with big impact, AB 2377, has been approved by both houses of the California state legislature this session and will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence before the legislature sends it to the governor’s desk for his signature. Last week CCOF’s policy team sent out an action alert encouraging members in California to call their state senator and request that they vote yes on the bill. Thank you to those who took action. The Technical Assistance for Climate Smart Agriculture bill, AB 2377, will establish a cadre of experts to work with farmers who want to apply for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on general organic, research

As part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is seeking sites for bagrada bug research.  We would be interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California. Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are currently infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. We are investigating whether native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. We would put out frozen bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 27, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Ignacio Mendoza

Ignacio Mendoza is the first in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. Mendoza is a senior at California State University, Fresno majoring in plant science with the intention of becoming a Pest Control Adviser (PCA), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and continue his passion of farming. Mendoza is a member of CCOF and has helped his father grow delicious organic strawberries on the Central Coast.  His motivation for further education is to discover, understand, and improve the world we live in. He genuinely cares for the future of food and agriculture and strives to become an...

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