CCOF Blog

Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, events, general organic

Santa Cruz local and author Jonathan Franzen presented the keynote talk at CCOF member the Homeless Garden Project’s August 24 Sustain Supper. You can now read his speech in The New Yorker! About the Homeless Garden Project, he said, "In Santa Cruz, where I live, there’s an organization called the Homeless Garden Project. [. . .] It can’t 'solve' the problem of homelessness, but it’s been changing lives, one at a time, for nearly thirty years. Supporting itself in part by selling organic produce, it contributes more broadly to a revolution in how we think about people in need, the land we...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on biodiversity, general organic, grants, pests and pesticides

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program (BIFS) and its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions Program, administered by the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis. Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program Grants The goal of BIFS is to fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically-based farming systems that employ IPM strategies. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, August 26, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, funding, general organic


CCOF Foundation Feast

Monterey calls organic growers near and far this coming winter for the Organic Grower Summit on December 4 and 5. Alongside holiday décor and the sounds of seagulls, seals, and soil health discussions, the CCOF Foundation will once again host its annual benefit dinner on December 4, 2019. A three-course certified organic meal, live music, and powerful keynote speakers await you and your colleagues.  Secure seats for you and your team by registering for the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit website today! Space is limited. Each ticket sold will directly benefit the CCOF...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, standards

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections started this year for large produce farms in California and across the United States. Smaller produce farms will be subject to FSMA inspections in coming years.  If you are still wrapping your head around what FSMA means for your produce farm, the CCOF Foundation’s webinar library hosts a thorough collection of FSMA and food safety webinar recordings. Often hosted in collaboration with Community Alliance of Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild, these webinars present food safety in a manner accessible to growers and agricultural professionals. ...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF, farmers markets, general organic, marketing

Use our sturdy "CCOF Certified Organic" signs to promote your certified organic status at farmers' markets, organic processing facilities, your farm gate, and more, or use them as fence markers for your organic fields. Now available double-sided, you can show off your organic status from all angles! Only $40 per sign—get one while supplies last.  Signs are also available in single-sided large, small, and mini sizes. The small and mini sizes are great for identifying organic bins and products at farmers’ markets. Organic enthusiasts are looking for the CCOF sign, so make sure yours is on...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy

The Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit that promotes the production of and access to healthy, sustainable food as the foundation of health, released a new report describing their efforts to advance policy and systems change to support a healthy, just, and sustainable world. Ceres provides medically tailored organic meals to families experiencing health crises.  Ceres, a CCOF partner organization, is based in Marin and Sonoma counties in California and is focused on three primary policy and systems change goals:Prove the case for medically tailored meals and other food as medicine...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

On Monday, August 12, CCOF partner organization California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) released a publication that highlights the ongoing challenge of climate change on California farms and calls for farmer-driven solutions.  The publication summarizes research that evaluates current and predicted climate change impacts on California agriculture, including water scarcity and changing precipitation, warming temperatures and extreme heat, pests, disease and weed challenges, and wildfires.  It also highlights on-farm adaptation strategies and policy solutions that can help cultivate...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 12, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, marketing


Dear CCOF Members and Supporters,It is with great pleasure and honor that I write to you as CCOF’s new CEO. Since assuming the role in January, I’ve been continually inspired by CCOF’s many accomplishments over 2018, which you helped make a reality. I’m no stranger to the strength of CCOF’s incredible membership of organic farmers, professionals, and supporters, and I’m excited to harness the power of this unique community to continue laying the path to an organic future.You helped us lay bricks in our organic path by enabling us to help 7,898 students and teachers get funding for organic...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 12, 2019 on

Farmers’ market managers: support your organic farmers by learning more about the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program.Some local producers grow and sell organic products to increase their revenue. These producers may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75% for allowed annual certification costs per scope of certification through the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program.Join the CCOF Foundation and the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets for a webinar on August 27 that highlights the benefits of the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program, as well as reviews...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 12, 2019 on

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is announcing that starting next week, 8,000 “small” and “very small” produce farms throughout California are being mailed educational letters about their roles in upholding the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in 2011 to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks. Accompanying the letters are questionnaires to be returned to the CDFA by August 31 in order to verify commodities grown, determine whether annual sales qualify farms for a PSR exemption, and to help prioritize future...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 12, 2019 on


Garden Sign

Want to add some bee-lightful décor to your organic garden, while also preventing pesticide sprays? Our organic garden sign is the perfect addition to your own organic oasis. We’re retiring this friendly bee sign, so now’s the time to order yours. Get it today at a discounted price before it’s gone!     
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Ryan Raether

Ryan Raether’s National FFA Organization Supervised Agricultural Experience project is expanding his organic pumpkin business. He usually sells out of pumpkins by the first week of October, as he only has a half-acre of land. With the money Raether will receive from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, he will expand his space to one acre. He will use cow manure compost as topsoil and install a dripper system to water his pumpkins. In the past, Raether has watered all his pumpkins by hand, which has been very time consuming, so he is excited to expand his business thanks to the help from his...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, August 5, 2019 on CCOF, cost share, funding, general organic


cost share

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is still open for 2019 applications, but only a few months remain to apply for funds. Through this program, eligible operations will be reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750 for each NOP scope of organic certification. Eligible operations can also receive a refund of California State Organic Program registration fees. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 may apply for reimbursement. The Cost Share...

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