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Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 20, 2021

The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides funding to help small specialty crop producers, food processors, manufacturers, distributors and farmers markets recover costs incurred by responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including for measures to protect workers. 

The minimum funding request amount is $1,500. The maximum funding request amount is $20,000. No cost sharing or matching funds are required. Eligible applicants include small businesses and nonprofits that have 501(c)(3) status.

Grants will cover activities associated with:

Workplace Safety:…
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 20, 2021

The California State Legislature passed several record-setting budget packages last week to complete what has been an unusual pandemic budget process during a time of significant state surplus. The historic budget packages include $1.3 billion for Climate Smart Agriculture programs, farmworker housing, composting facilities, organic transition, school kitchen and food bank upgrades, and much more. The budget packages follow months-long advocacy efforts by CalCAN and our partners in the AB 125 coalition.

The legislature restored funding for all of the state’s Climate Smart…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 20, 2021
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Join the CCOF Foundation for a casual and informative conversation with Michigan State University student and CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer grant recipient Shannon Good on September 30, 2021! Register on Eventbrite to receive a link to this special conversation.

During our time with Shannon, we will hear more about her journey to become an organic dairy farmer by age 16, the transition of her family’s operation from conventional to organic dairy production, and her current studies at Michigan State University. 

Many thanks to all our CCOF Foundation supporters who…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 20, 2021

Side gigs have always played a role in my farming career. When I first started my farm, I was working a 40-hour-a-week day job at another farm, and I worked at my farm in the afternoons and on weekends. Once I was confident that I could grow and sell my crops, I took a part-time job with CCOF managing inspectors. Later, I became an organic inspector myself. Both positions allowed me to farm during the daylight hours while managing clients and writing reports in the evenings. 

If you are still figuring out how to farm and make your business successfully support you, it may be a good…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, September 20, 2021

Barajas

For the last 10 years, Carolina Barajas’ vision has been to supply local families with healthy organic food and to inspire children and adults about the pivotal role organic farming plays in a strong community. As Barajas wraps up her degree in horticulture and organic farming systems at Oregon State University, she looks forward to educating the next generation on the importance of organic food and…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 13, 2021

Having a consistent display is key to running a successful farmers’ market stall. Believe it or not, when the look of the display changes or the staff running the stall switches, customers get confused. Some customers may even think it is a different farm! If your farm only attends markets seasonally, or if you have a high turnover rate in market staff, having a consistent, memorable display is even more important. 

So, how do you keep your market stall looking consistent to retain your customer base? 

Here is what I do to train my staff in market display set up. 

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 13, 2021
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DPWorst

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you likely know that CCOF envisions a world where organic is the norm. We believe there is room for everyone at the organic table, with different communities across the world being served by local organic growers. While we seek to create an organic world, there is no place like home. We are grateful to growers like Lakeside Organic Gardens for their decades of dedication to the organic movement and would like to join in celebrating their 25th anniversary this year! 

Longtime residents of California’s Pajaro Valley (about half an hour…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 13, 2021

Consumer education is a powerful tool. Research indicates that more than 85 percent of U.S. households buy organic, and yet there is still marketplace confusion about why organic is healthier for eaters, farmers, and environments. 

Most farmers don’t have an extra hour in the middle of their day to be a guest on a podcast, host a webinar, or create infographics to share on their social media platforms. Groups like Kitchen Table Advisors and other third parties make consumer education more accessible for organic farmers, but CCOF and its Foundation are still looking for additional…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 13, 2021

The CCOF Foundation is pleased to partner with Community Alliance with Family Farmers and “The Farmers Beet” to launch our new podcast “Radio Organic: Sound Bites from the Organic Community.” 

In our four-part pilot series, we’ll chat briefly each week with long-time organic farmers about marketing techniques that have helped them run successful, resilient organic businesses. As a part of each interview, we ask our guest farmers what recommendations they have for newer farmers on managing resilient organic farms.

In our second episode we chatted with John and Kyle Garrone…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The CCOF Foundation is pleased to partner with Community Alliance with Family Farmers and “The Farmers Beet” to launch our new podcast “Radio Organic: Sound Bites from the Organic Community.”

In our four-part pilot series, we’ll chat briefly each week with long-time organic farmers about marketing techniques that have helped them run successful, resilient organic businesses. As a part of each interview, we ask our guest farmers what recommendations they have for newer farmers on managing resilient organic farms.

In our premier episode we chatted with Joe Schirmer of Dirty…

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, September 7, 2021

This week the agenda and all proposals and discussion documents for the fall 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings were posted online. Sign-up for public comment during October 13 and 14 online webinars is now open. If you want to make an oral comment, register now because the slots can get filled up quickly.

Written comments are due by September 30, 2021, so that NOSB members have time to review them before the October 19–21 NOSB meeting. Comments are being accepted through Regulations.gov.

Originally scheduled to be held in Sacramento, the meeting will now…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 7, 2021

In a USDA press release issued August 11, 2021, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement after the successful confirmation of Jenny Lester Moffitt to serve as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA:

“Congratulations to Jenny Lester Moffitt on being confirmed to serve as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Jenny’s experience and dedication to her craft, including growing up and working on an organic farm, will help elevate USDA’s work to support our producers and protect the health and value of America’s agricultural and…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

CCOF - Radio Organic

The CCOF Foundation is pleased to partner with Community Alliance with Family Farmers and “The Farmers Beet” to launch our new podcast “Radio Organic”!  

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 30, 2021

Rep. Jimmy Panetta to Co-Sponsor Agricultural Resilience Act

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) hosted Representative Jimmy Panetta’s (D-California, 20) congressional staffers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Salinas, California, last week. The site visit focused on the importance of increased investment in organic research and was instrumental in Rep. Panetta’s decision to co-sponsor H.R. 2803, the Agricultural Resilience Act (ARA).

OFRF organized the tour of the organic fields at the ARS led by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA research horticulturist…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 30, 2021
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Cover Crop Furrows

As growers in the Central Coast region face increased regulation of nitrogen discharges from their farms, they need new ways to capture excess nitrogen and reduce erosion. While winter cover cropping is a highly effective way to scavenge soil nitrate and prevent leaching, the need for intensive management of residues can discourage growers from using this strategy.

A USDA Agricultural Research Service organic researcher, Eric Brennan of Salinas, is studying an approach that involves planting cover crops into the furrows between beds. This practice provides many benefits, including…