CCOF Blog

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...
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...

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