CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 3, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Elda Garcia

Elda Garcia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but grew up in Puerto Vallarta. She has fond memories of working on her grandmother’s watermelon farm over the summers during her youth. At age 20, Garcia immigrated to the United States. Like many newly arrived immigrants in California, she found work in agriculture. The first crops that she worked with were peas and lettuce.  Always wanting to learn more, Garcia obtained her associate degree from Hartnell Community College, then a bachelor’s degree in world languages and cultures from California State University, Monterey Bay. Later she obtained...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 26, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, member news

Lundberg Family Farms has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers, and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states. The award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and California Farm Bureau Federation. Lundberg Family Farms of Butte County will receive a $10...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Matthew Keesling

Matthew Keesling is new to the agriculture industry.  After serving in the United States Army, he decided that he wants to continue the culture of family farms and sustainable agriculture and pass this life choice on to his children and the next generation.  Keesling has operated a small hobby farm in Kansas for six years, always being organic and a steward of the land and environment. He is a leader in 4-H programs focused on forestry and conservation efforts. Keesling also works on an organic family dairy farm in Wisconsin and plans to continue this practice in either the dairy or beef...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Quality Control Board is holding a series of stakeholder meetings in Watsonville, Salinas, and Santa Maria next week to update the public on the next version of the region’s agricultural order and to gather public comment. The Central Coast Water Board needs to hear from farmers, particularly organic farmers, about the steps they already take to reduce nitrogen application and protect water quality. The board also needs to hear farmers’ ideas on how to reduce ground and surface water impairment without creating an overly burdensome regulatory structure. Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 19, 2018 on marketing, policy

USDA implemented the new California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) on November 1, 2018. FMMOs are voluntary, industry-driven marketing initiatives that establish the terms of trade between farmers and the first buyer of milk. FMMOs also develop minimum milk prices based on market values with respect to supply and demand conditions. California dairy producers voted to approve the FMMO in June 2018. The order required at least a two-thirds vote from all dairy producers in California.  California organic producers are not exempted from the FMMO. Organic producers are exempted from some...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CalCAN, events, policy

 The sixth California Climate & Agriculture Summit kicks off on Monday, March 4 with tours of innovative, climate-friendly farms in Yolo County. On Tuesday, March 5, we will convene for a day-long conference followed by a festive evening in celebration of 10 years of advocacy and leadership by the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Join us to: Explore the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California. Network with a diverse group of leading growers, researchers, policymakers, agricultural professionals, and advocates. Engage in a robust...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield

Joshua Dransfield’s future career goals include operating Windspring Organic Dairy farm and increasing the farm’s herd and production to be competitive in an area of the country where it is difficult to find a vendor for the product, especially for small herds. Currently, Dransfield and his family milk 35 cows, with about 50 young stock. There is a natural spring on the farm’s mountain land, which provides the farm’s water supply. Dransfield believes it is important to protect the land and water while producing a high-quality product for consumers to enjoy. This year, his family’s farm...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on general organic, standards

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments.  The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) designed an online training center to provide professional development and continuing education training for organic certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and professionals. The Organic Integrity Learning Center will focus on serving professionals involved in compliance and enforcement roles in organic control systems.  The NOP will debut the system in a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. Stakeholders can connect to the town hall two ways: Dial in by Phone Toll-free (United States & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code:...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


Sophia Soctt 3

In conjunction with the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California, the “We Are Organic” Dinner will celebrate all things organic—the growth of organic, inspiring stories from Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipients, and a festive organic meal with friends in the organic community. All proceeds from the dinner go to support the CCOF Foundation.  At this year’s dinner, enjoy the music of country-influenced pop artist Sophia Scott. Scott is a country-influenced pop artist with an unapologetic honesty to her lyrics that is vulnerable and wonderfully relatable. Her powerful cover of...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on member news

Amigo Bob is one of the stalwart organizers of the annual EcoFarm conference and a renowned organic farming advisor. He stewards a collection of heirloom perennial fruits—from apples to walnuts—and makes cuttings available through the Felix Gillet Institute. Amigo Bob’s repository of heirloom fruits recently caught the attention of National Geographic, which published a photo essay on the rich genetic diversity he is protecting. The piece focuses on the importance of these locally-adapted species in the face of climate change and increasing drought. 
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lauren Spencer

Lauren Spencer is a student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Kentucky with a major in career and technical education agricultural education teaching accreditation program with minors in sustainable agriculture and ag economics, and she will be graduating in Spring 2019. She is a participant in the UK Horticulture Club, has completed the 200-hour working apprenticeship on UK Horticulture Research Farm, and is currently working on her startup cut flower business. After graduation she plans to teach high school youth as an agriculture educator while...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, grower


It’s time again for the CCOF Foundation’s annual tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market!   If you are looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California, join us on November 29 in San Francisco for one of our most popular events of the year. Tour participants will visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.  This tour sells out early, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF...

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