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Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 5, 2021

Join the CCOF Foundation and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on April 13 for a webinar that will help food hubs and other local food buyers (including farms in some cases) understand how to verify their farm suppliers in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

In this webinar, we will break down the complex supplier verification requirement of the FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule (also known as the "PC Rule"). The PC Rule applies to “facilities,” which in some cases can include farms. Part of the PC Rule requires food hubs and other buyers to “…

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 5, 2021

Nominations are open for the inaugural Specialty Grower Sustainability Award until April 16, 2021. The award sponsors are looking for growers that have made efforts on their farm including:

Participation in sustainability tracing programs Social impact in local community Applying more biological products vs. conventional chemistries New irrigation practices/system that reduces water usage

Sponsored by Great American Media Services and Valent U.S.A., the award will be presented at the United Fresh Convention & Expo in June 2021. The winner will be profiled in multiple Great…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 29, 2021

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has tapped a diverse group of experts to serve in its new Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) Work Group, which will advise DPR on how to implement a transition away from harmful chemicals–a transition that Governor Gavin Newson says is a high priority for the state.  

The SPM Work Group will pick up where the previous Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Work Group left off and will guide state agencies in creating alternatives to the use of highly toxic synthetic pesticides. This will include increased research and education in organic…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 29, 2021
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Grimmway Farms - P1010057

We recently learned a few facts from Zach Wortiska, organic seed manager for Cal-Organic. Via the Instagram story feature, CCOF Foundation Visionary supporter Cal-Organic hosts a series called In the Fields with Zach, wherein Wortiska discusses the benefits of organic agriculture, especially the nutritional benefits. For those wanting to learn more, much of this information is available and cited in the CCOF Foundation’s Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report. For now, we’ll sum up some of the fun facts Wortiska and Cal-Organic share with their social media audience:

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 29, 2021

Earlier this month, the federal government approved $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 economic relief, including $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans, vaccination resources, and aid to state and local governments. Provisions in the package for agriculture, known as the American Rescue Plan, amount to a relatively minor $16 billion spread across several programs.

A key portion of the agriculture funding includes billions in debt relief for farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). This provision is a version of the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, which…

Written by Laura Mathias on Thursday, March 25, 2021
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Klinger
Abby Klinger is a Future Organic Farmer grant recipient based in Pennsylvania.

From April 1 through April 30 of 2021, Bonterra Organic Vineyards will match every donation from Pennsylvanian residents to the CCOF Future Organic Farmer program up to $10,000, directly supporting the next generation of organic producers in Pennsylvania!

CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer program has supported the education of many students in Pennsylvania by providing financial assistance to high school and vocational students who are pursuing organic farming. As many farmers are reaching…

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 22, 2021

Deadlines are approaching to submit public comments and register for oral comments for the spring 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. We encourage CCOF members to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances, especially regarding substances listed on their Organic System Plan.

Crop Materials

Copper sulfate (§205.601(a)(3) & §205.601(e)(4)) The NOSB will review copper sulfate for use as an algicide in aquatic rice systems and as tadpole shrimp control in aquatic rice…
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 22, 2021
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Soil Sampling Photos

The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. 

Find out how to apply for your own Future Organic Farmer Grant.

Learn more about supporting the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through a donation.

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Malcolm St. Cyr

Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, March 15, 2021

 

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Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  

UC Cooperative…
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 15, 2021
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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 Sooby on Monday, March 15, 2021
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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 Blogger on Monday, March 15, 2021
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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 Benador on Monday, March 8, 2021
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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 Sooby on Monday, March 8, 2021

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…