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Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 6, 2019

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will hold its annual Organic Week Event during the week of May 20, 2019. Each year, small- and large-scale growers, companies, researchers, and policy advocates convene in Washington for a week of organic networking, policy advocacy, and education.  

Organic Week is comprised of three events: Member Day, Advocacy Day, and Conference Day. At last year’s Organic Week, CCOF members Javier Zamora of JSM Organics and Darrell Wood of Leavitt Lake Ranches spoke on panels. During Advocacy Day, CCOF members and staff joined in meetings with congressional…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2019


Despite taking a variety of steps to alleviate chronic shortages of agricultural employees, California farmers and ranchers continue to report problems in hiring enough people for on-farm jobs. A survey released today shows 56 percent of participating farmers had been unable to hire all the employees they needed at some point during the previous five years.

The voluntary…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 29, 2019

2019 Investing in Integrity Award photo

Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker (center) with 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award winners at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Seattle, Washington. Pictured left to right: Jodi Snyder and Becky Scheifele of Global Organic Alliance, Sam Welsch of One Cert, and Phil LaRocca, Mary Chramiec, and Peter…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 29, 2019

USDA issued an update on its progress in implementing provisions of the new farm bill, which was signed into law December 2018. Here are some highlights:

TITLE I – Commodity Programs

Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy): On March 22, 2019, Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program in 2018 can now retroactively participate in the MPP-Dairy for 2018. Contact your local FSA office for more information. Dairy Margin Coverage Program: On March 28, 2019, the National…
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 29, 2019

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) will assemble for a public meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture building in Sacramento. 

COPAC advises the California secretary of food and agriculture 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. 

Topics that will be considered during the meeting include:

Update on the GMO test pilot program Glyphosate subcommittee…
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 29, 2019

The 2019 Automated Weeder and Thinner Demonstration and Field day will take place on Tuesday, May 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the USDA Spence Research Field Station at 1572 Old Stage Road in Salinas. 

Automated technologies are helping fill the gap in the supply of labor that is occurring in the farming community. At this field day, weeders and automated lettuce thinners developed by a number of companies will be demonstrated on lettuce plantings. Both driven and autonomous machines that use a variety of different mechanisms to remove unwanted plants will be available for…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 22, 2019

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $500,000 is available for one- to three-year grants. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in fiscal year 2019. Proposals are due by June 10, 2019. 

CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. The proposed projects should augment existing NRCS technical tools (planning, assessment…

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019

The deadline for nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching!

USDA is seeking:

             – An environmental protection and resource conservation expert

             – An organic farmer representative

             – An organic retailer

             – Two organic handlers 

Nominations must be submitted by May 17, 2019 and include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership.

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019

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 Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so that the GRO Organic…

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 15, 2019

CCOF submitted 12 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their spring 2019 meeting in Seattle, Washington. The meeting will occur April 24-26, 2019. 

NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice per year to provide recommendations on substances and standards. At their spring meeting, the board will start the 2021 Sunset Review process and will complete reviews of substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. In the fall, NOSB will vote to relist or remove substances from the National…

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 8, 2019


CCOF received a NIFA Food Safety Outreach grant in 2017 to provide Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) required Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) compliant trainings and technical assistance for small scale, organic, and Spanish speaking farmers in California. In collaboration with partner organizations Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) and the California Center…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 8, 2019


Are you a farmer who needs seasonal or temporary workers for planting, cultivating, or harvesting crops? The H-2A temporary agricultural workers program–often called the H-2A Visa Program–helps American farmers who anticipate a lack of available domestic workers fill employment gaps by hiring workers from other countries.

With the new Checklist Tool, participating in the Program…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 1, 2019

The Organic Coup SF Giantsv2

“We really visualized this as a takeover. Our opposition was the fast food industry. … It’s like a modern-day David and Goliath…We’re all part of this dream.” – Dennis Hoover, Co-Founder of the Organic Coup

Since James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold in Coloma, California in 1848, Northern California has evolved into a place of rapid…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 1, 2019


Dung beetles and soil bacteria on farms could help suppress E. coli and other harmful pathogens, according to research.

The study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found improved food safety may be enhanced by on‐farm biodiversity and the current view that farm simplification helps may undervalue natural resistance to human-…

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 1, 2019

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting in Seattle, Washington are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. 

Crop scope substances:

Ash from manure burning Ferric phosphate Hydrogen chloride Hydrogen peroxide Magnesium sulfate Oils, horticultural (Narrow range oils) Pheromones…