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Written by Meaghan DonovanonMonday, March 15, 2021onCCOF Foundation, education, food safety, organic training institute
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fsma-2-2

Join the CCOF Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on March 23 for a webinar that will provide updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

As of January 2020, farms with more than $25,000 in annual produce sales need to comply with the federal FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The March 23 webinar will provide a brief overview of the three legal classifications for farms: fully exempt, qualified exempt (partially exempt), and fully covered (full compliance required). Presenters from CAFF and the…

Written by Jane SoobyonMonday, March 15, 2021oncrisis resilience
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farmworkers

Though the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends prioritizing food and agricultural workers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by placing them in the phase 1B eligibility tier, states vary in prioritizing these workers.

According to an article in the Insurance Journal, some states are elevating the elderly and other essential workers over food and agricultural workers.

For information on vaccine availability in your state, visit the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine webpage and select your state in the box labeled “How Do I Get a Vaccine?” For information on vaccines in…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, March 15, 2021oneducation, events
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Soil

The California Farm Demonstration Network (CDFN) is hosting a four-part series about California soils. This series will feature four speakers, each with extensive knowledge of California agriculture and soils. Speakers will cover various topics, including composting, orchard recycling, soil sampling, testing for microbial dynamics, and more.

PART 1 | March 24, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
“What happens to soil properties when you add compost or cover crop?”
Meeting Registration

PART 2 | April 21, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
“What are the benefits of…

Written by Laetitia BenadoronMonday, March 8, 2021oneducation
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School Program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) new Farm to School Grant Program, released in January 2021, brings welcome news to organic fields and public school lunchrooms alike. With a declared purpose of encouraging schools to buy from small and medium-sized farms, farms using climate-smart practices, and from Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, this program does more than just feed children: it seeks to ensure their futures are resilient and equitable.

The program recognizes that organic, transitioning to organic, and certified 100 percent…

Written by Jane SoobyonMonday, March 8, 2021onstatistics

This year's California Agricultural Statistics Review, released annually by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), includes statewide organic data, an addition to the report first made last year.

According to CDFA records collected from the State Organic Program, organic farmgate sales in 2019 totaled $10.4 billion, a 3.5 percent increase over 2018 organic sales.

A closer look at the data shows that crop, feed, and fiber producers had the largest increase in sales, up 12.4 percent from 2018. Handler sales increased by only 1.5 percent between 2018 and…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, March 8, 2021onconservation
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csp

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address high-priority concerns around natural resources. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance–the higher the performance, the higher the payment. The 2021 CSP application deadline is March 26, 2021.

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners expand stewardship activities and receive payments for both their existing…

Written by Laetitia BenadoronMonday, March 1, 2021onadvocacy, livestock, policy
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meat-processing

In today’s world, pet goats participate in yoga classes, apartment building walls bear signs advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs,” and the consumer appetite for organic meat and dairy is skyrocketing. Despite this popular sentiment, a lack of investment in regional meat supply chains threatens the future of regional, organic, and regenerative ranching.

California’s farmers and their four-legged flocks face severe and longstanding bottlenecks in the final steps along the meat supply chain from ranch to roast: slaughter, cut and wrap, and value-added processing. In the last 50 years,…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, March 1, 2021onCCOF Foundation, education
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collaboration

In my last blog, Delegating Responsibilities to Lighten Your Workload, I discussed strategies for handing off tasks to employees to allow for personal time or exciting work projects.

With my extra time, I like to cultivate creative collaborations with other food businesses. These mutually beneficial relationships increase marketing exposure and income for both businesses.

Typically, these collaborations arise organically. For instance, I have excess blueberries, and a fellow business owner who I know from the farmers' market makes a product that can utilize blueberries.

Written by Shawna RodgersonMonday, February 22, 2021onCCOF Foundation
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David Robles_CN2021

Last Thursday, February 18, CCOF held its first fully virtual annual meeting, Cultivate and Nourish. While we look forward to being together again soon, holding this event virtually allowed for unprecedented attendance and participation. Farmers, ranchers, and producers who typically lack time to attend conferences were able to log in from the comfort of their homes and hear directly from CCOF’s CEO Kelly Damewood and CCOF Board Chair Phil LaRocca.

David Robles, program manager for food justice organization Food, What?! and former participant in CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic…

Written by Shawna RodgersonMonday, February 22, 2021onCCOF Foundation
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Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan_Photo Credit Rick Poon

PHOTO: Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, by Rick Poon

The CCOF Foundation is thrilled to announce its newest Visionary-level supporter, the Rustic Canyon Family. This independent restaurant group in Santa Monica, California, features a variety of neighborhood dining destinations in partnership with talented and award-winning leaders in food and wine. Learn more about the family at their website.  

Since the 2006 opening of farmers’-market-driven and Michelin-starred Rustic Canyon, the family has expanded to include Huckleberry Bakery & Café, Sweet…

Written by Jane SoobyonTuesday, February 16, 2021oneducation, grower

An Organic Agriculture Seminar Series for Growers is offered via Zoom on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m., now through May 4.

University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farms and organic advisor Margaret Lloyd have organized the series aimed at providing useful information on organic topics for growers.

Each seminar features a guest speaker and a group conversation with questions from the audience. No pre-registration is required. The Zoom meeting link is the same each week.

The series began on January 26 of this year with a talk on biochar. Recordings of past seminars,…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, February 8, 2021ongrower, research

University of California, Davis wants to hear from California dried fruit processors.

California is a major producer of dried fruits, and we at UC Davis want to support the production of high-quality dried products. A team of researchers in the Food Science and Technology Department is interested in developing guidance on the best practices to ensure the safety and quality of dried California specialty crops.

To support our California dried fruit producers, we need information on the most common industry practices currently being employed for dehydrating. Do you sun dry or use…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, February 1, 2021onadvocacy, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be holding stakeholder meetings in February to solicit feedback from the public and agricultural stakeholders on farmer- and rancher-led climate solutions that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance biodiversity.

“These outreach meetings are essential to ensure we gain information and knowledge from the people who live and work on the land and the organizations that support them,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We want to hear from all those interested in discussing farmer- and rancher-led efforts…

Written by Guest BloggeronMonday, January 25, 2021onCCOF Foundation

In my last blog post, "Reflect, Refine, and Refresh for a Long Farming Career," I talked about the importance of setting boundaries between farming and personal life to sustain a farming business over the long haul. This week, I’ll go into more depth on how I reflect on the past season to make time for personal activities, improve my business, and maintain my passion for farming.

A simple way to do this is to grab a piece of paper and a pen and list what did work over the past farming season and what didn't.

Nothing is too little or too odd to add to the list. The point is…

Written by Rebekah WeberonMonday, January 25, 2021onadvocacy, policy
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CCOF-puts-goals-into-action

It’s the start of a new year, and CCOF has set a bold, new goal for organic: Thirty percent of California’s farmland will be organic by 2030. We know it will take hard work to get there, but that’s nothing new for organic farmers. Here’s the plan for moving forward in 2021.

Expand Opportunities for Small Organic Ranchers

In partnership with ranchers, policymakers, and farm and environmental groups, CCOF is working to create economic opportunities for small organic ranches. Expanding on-farm slaughter options for small ranches raising goats, sheep, and swine will strengthen these…