CCOF Blog

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 3, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic

The University of California system's first-ever institute for organic research and education will be established in the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources division (UC ANR) with a $500,000 endowment gift from Clif Bar & Company and $500,000 in matching funds from UC President Janet Napolitano. The California Organic Institute will accelerate the development and adoption of effective tools and practices for organic farmers and those transitioning to organic by building on the capabilities of UC ANR's Cooperative Extension and Sustainable Agriculture Research and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 3, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, producer

USDA reminds agricultural producers interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 2020 general signup to enroll by February 28, 2020. This signup is available to farmers and private landowners who are either enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling for another 10- to 15-year term. “This is the first opportunity for general sign-up since 2016, and we want producers and private landowners to know that we have just one month remaining,” Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “It is critical that they make their final determinations and submit offers very soon to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 27, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, livestock


Livestock

With wildfires and other natural disasters becoming more common, disaster preparedness is an important part of running a sustainable livestock operation. Join the CCOF Foundation on February 11 for a webinar that highlights best management practices that organic livestock operations can take to be prepared in the event of a disaster. This webinar will also review USDA risk management and disaster assistance programs that aid farmers and ranchers in recovering from a disaster after it has occurred.Our first speaker, Dr. Stephanie Larson, director of Sonoma County University of California...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 27, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Celsa Ortega

My name is Celsa Ortega and I am 32 years old. I am from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Growing up in the mountain ranges with my grandparents, we harvested a ‘milpa’ and I quickly grew fond of my grandparents love and dedication for agriculture. I now have four children, three boys and one girl ranging from 13 to five years old. My family and I arrived in the Salinas Valley in 2006, and we have since been field workers. I enjoyed working in Greenfield, CA harvesting cilantro by contract. This job provided well for my family with the high pay and hours that I was able to achieve. A past...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, roadmap


Before the Brave by Zack Pianko

Photo by Zack Piánko In the face of climate catastrophes taking place worldwide, CCOF is leading the charge to create a climate-resilient California and United States. On February 18 and 19, CCOF will be joined by California State Senator Anna Caballero at the CCOF Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, where we will release the CCOF Roadmap to an Organic California: Policy Report. The release party for the report will be hosted by the CCOF Foundation, CCOF’s 501c(3) nonprofit arm that supports organic farmers and producers across the entire Untied States. Join us for organic food and cocktails, a...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, education, farmers markets, general organic, marketing


FMTFS

The CCOF Foundation’s Farmers’ Marketing: Tools for Success project is aimed at helping growers who sell at farmers’ markets finetune their marketing to increase sales and revenue. The project offers both on-line and in-person workshops for farmers and resources on organic for farmers’ market managers. Farmer Resources – Webinars o Recordings■ Assessing Crop Profitability for Farm Business Planning■ Organic 101 for Small and Midsized Farms o Upcoming Webinars■ Check out the CCOF events’ calendar or sign up for the CCOF Newsletter to get announcements on upcoming Farmers’ Marketing webinars....
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news

Fair Farm Colorado, a CCOF member based in Longmont, Colorado, is the first egg operation to be certified to the Laying Hen and Pullet standards of the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a comprehensive farm animal welfare standards program. Fair Farm Colorado’s operation is certified to GAP’s Entire Life on Farm (Step 5+). “Fair Farm just received GAP’s top animal welfare rating for a laying hen farm,” said Walt Pounds, Fair Farm’s founder and CEO. “We at Fair Farm Colorado are honored and excited to become the first egg operation to partner with the Global Animal Partnership,” he said. ...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 20, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Rhyne Cureton

My future career will be as an organic inspector and educator for the South East. I believe that the South East has the potential to be a major influence in the organic movement. The National Agricultural Statistics Services illustrates that in 2016, not one South Eastern state exceeded over 500 certified organic farms; six of these states having fewer than 50 certified farms. However, this void of organic certification should not be misunderstood as a lack of organic practices within the region. The South East has a strong and growing population of farms and farmers that do have organic...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, roadmap


Anna Caballero

Photo provided by The CeresCourier.com We root for farmers growing organic. We root for producers, packers, and shippers of organic. We root for getting organic in schools. And, we root for the policymakers who move organic agriculture to the forefront as a solution to climate change. Senator Anna Caballero has been a partner and champion in this effort, fighting for farmers, farmworkers, and facing climate change head on. Senator Caballero provided valuable input on CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, and now you can hear from her directly about the powerful potential of organic...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, chapters, events

Vote in your chapter election to ensure your business has a voice in CCOF governance!  If you are in the CCOF Fresno-Tulare chapter, click here to vote now. It will only take a moment to cast your vote. CCOF’s chapter system is a powerful tool to connect our members. Chapter leaders have the unique opportunity to leverage the collective power of CCOF’s staff and membership to advance organic in their region and beyond. Supported by CCOF staff, chapter leaders share their passion and experience by setting the agenda for meetings and driving networking, marketing, and educational opportunities...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic

CCOF’s Director of Inspection Services Sean Feder has been appointed by California’s Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross to the alternate certifier seat on the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC). COPAC advises the secretary 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.  Term limits opened up a number of primary producer seats that were filled with alternate members. CCOF members who now fill primary seats on COPAC are Benjamin Diesl with Grimmway...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, January 13, 2020 on employment, general organic, policy

A newly implemented law will change the classification for many workers in California from independent contractors to employees. Assembly Bill 5, which Governor Newsom signed into law on September 2019, codifies the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision into state law. The Dynamex decision outlines a three-part “test” to determine a worker’s employment classification. According to the new law, a worker can only be considered an independent contractor if all three of the following conditions are met:(A) The individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 13, 2020 on education, events, food safety, general organic

What: Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Training to help your farm business comply with FSMA legislation, and a second on-farm training covering food safety best practices, business and marketing, and crisis planning at your operation as a follow-up session for interested farmers.  When: Friday, January 24, 2020, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Where: Allan Hancock College, Room G106A/B Cost: Free for small producers of leafy greens To sign up or get more information, contact:At Cal Poly: Jeta Rudi-Polloshkajrudi@calpoly.edu or (805) 756-5021At Allan Hancock College: Erin Kriererin.krier@hancockcollege.edu...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

Join UCSC Farm Garden Manager Christof Bernau for a webinar on organic seedling production and greenhouse efficiencies for small farms.  This session will focus on the management of environmental conditions to optimize germination and development of high-quality transplants, with an emphasis on system efficiencies that can improve seedling quality and your bottom line. From sowing, germination, and seedling development to hardening off and holding strategies, all seedling life stages will be explored.   The session will begin with an examination of a typical seedling life cycle and an...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 13, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Malcolm St Cyr

I am of African American, Native American (Cherokee) and West Indian heritage. I was born and lived in the urban United States until just before my 9th birthday. I attended school in Senegal, West Africa in a small town, at a small school with modest facilities. It is here that I completed my childhood and my education.  I spent about 3 years learning the language/culture of the new place I was living. I then decided to attend Arabic School as was expected of others in my age group. After completing this first phase of education I wanted to enroll in the French education system that could...

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