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Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 11, 2023
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Webinars

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is hosting educational opportunities about Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) through the remainder of 2023. Check out the upcoming opportunities: 

SOE Education Series Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Fraud Prevention Plans & SOE Requirements 

Join OTA's Trusted Advisors for a discussion on fraud prevention and how to approach Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) implementation in your supply chain on Thursday, September 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT.

The SOE final rule supports the continued growth of the organic market…

Written by Molly Nakahara on Monday, September 11, 2023
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Farm tour of Vang Farms, photo by Molly Nakahara

Farm tour of Vang Farms, photo by Molly Nakahara

On the outskirts of Merced, California, tucked in between acres of feed corn and walnuts, is an oasis of crop diversity, a 15-acre farm growing over 30 crops for local markets. Owner–operator Latsamee “Mee” Moua shares that her business, Vang Farms, is known at the farmers’ market for having unique, often hard-to-find crops beloved by Southeast Asian communities. From okra grown for its tender, edible leaves; to jicama, the nitrogen-fixing legume grown for its crunchy tuber and towering trellises of sem beans, their pungent flowers…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Monday, September 11, 2023
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Flooded Fields

California Small Agricultural Business Drought and Flood Relief Grant Program is providing relief to small agricultural businesses that experienced a decline in annual gross receipts or gross profits due to drought or flood conditions. 

Follow this link for Drought Relief and follow this link for the Flooding or Winter Storm Relief. 

Accepting applications now for both drought and flooding! 

APPLY NOW!

Eligibility Requirements for Flood Relief

An applicant must meet this program’s definition of a “qualified small business” to be eligible to receive a…

Written by Molly Nakahara on Monday, September 11, 2023
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TOPP West/Southwest

Curious about what it takes to transition your operation to organic? Or are you a newly certified producer with questions on how to stay in compliance? Just ask Jamie! 
Join weekly Zooms with organic expert Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms. Learn about organic certification, organic system plans (OSPs), how to get certified, and more. All questions and experience levels welcome! Se habla Español.

Join office hours any and every Tuesday, 11 a.m. to noon 
Zoom link: https://ccof.zoom.us/j/81895267381
Meeting ID: 818 9526 7381

Check the CCOF calendar for…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 5, 2023
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Bragada Bug

Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is seeking sites for research on a parasitic wasp that was recently found attacking bagrada bug eggs in California. 

Bagrada bug numbers have been low at existing study sites this year, and researchers would be interested to learn about any infestations in California. This is the time of year when bagrada bug numbers usually start increasing in cole crop fields. High numbers may also be found on weeds, especially shortpod mustard and perennial pepperweed. Please report any cole crop fields or weed patches that are infested with…

Written by Kim Hatfield on Tuesday, September 5, 2023
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OTA Water Cooler Series
Attention OTA Members! 

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has announced additional resources to support the organic community as we prepare to meet the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Rule. You can read more about these resources in the re-post below. 

Not an OTA member? 

Don’t worry! CCOF has free resources to support you through this process, and more are on the way! You can use CCOF’s Organic Certification Self-Assessment to better understand how the rule applies to uncertified operations. CCOF-certified clients may also use the Exempt Handler Affidavit to…

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, September 5, 2023
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NOSB Comments

 
The National Organic Program has released the agenda for the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting, which will be held October 24–26, 2023, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The NOSB is a federal advisory board that makes recommendations on organic standards and materials to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture. The fall NOSB meeting is when votes are taken on whether or not to remove materials from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. All materials on the National List are reviewed for continued listing every five…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
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AAFC Watermelon Festival

On Saturday, September 16th, the African American Farmers of California (AAFC) will be hosting the inaugural Watermelon Festival. This event offers an opportunity to celebrate Black farmers and African American farming heritage and culture, along with the harvest and bounty they reap at this time of year. In addition to celebrating, farmers will have the opportunity to tell their stories and share knowledge and experience with one another and the community. They will be selling local produce, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs.

AAFC is currently engaged in a planning…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
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Farming Spinach

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA’s) Urban Agriculture Grant Program is a one-time only competitive grant that will fund programs and projects that enhance the viability of agriculture in urban areas across the state of California. 

Urban agriculture refers to the cultivation, processing, and distribution of agricultural products in urban settings, including things like in-ground small plot cultivation; raised beds; vertical production; warehouse farms; mushroom growing; urban forestry and tree care; community gardens; rooftop farms; hydroponic, aeroponic,…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
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Latino Farmer Conference Banner

The 9th annual Growing Together Latino Farmer Conference is November 1-2, 2023, in California’s Central Valley. This conference will include conference sessions on day one, followed by a farm field day on day two. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are proud to present this annual statewide sustainable agriculture conference for Spanish-speaking farmers. This conference brings together the Latino/a farming community, the agriculture industry, and advocates for sustainability and agribusinesses for two days of…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
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laptop

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) has created a Farmer Funding Opportunities Database. The funding opportunities database allows farmers to easily see when grants are open for application, which on-farm activities or subjects they fund, paperwork needed for application, and more. This database will help streamline the search process for farmers without losing any time. Once in the database, farmers can view it in its entirety or use the accessible filters to narrow down the search. 

Already have a grant in mind? Farmers can use the search option to go directly to the…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
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Wild Farm

Wild Farm Alliance is excited to announce that we have received funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to support California farmers in completing conservation plans for their farms. Interested farmers can work with Wild Farm Alliance to create one of the following types of plans: Beneficial Bird Habitat Plan, Pollinator Habitat Plan, or Carbon Farm Plan. Together, we will assess your farm’s natural resources and concerns, identify multiple opportunities for improvements, and prioritize plans for the best outcomes.

The completed plans will include some of…

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Thursday, August 24, 2023
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Car burned - Lahaina Fires

Photo by State Farm, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

My heart is with Hawaii.   

While processing the news of destruction and loss, I can’t help but think about the long-term agricultural land use of West Maui that led to the deadliest fire in recent US history.   

A decade ago, I traveled to visit a friend farming on Maui. Committed to farmer-organizing, he had joined the Hawaii Farmers Union and through their regular community gatherings he’d met farmers across the island. Together, we visited a small organic vegetable farm just up the road from Lahaina. This…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, August 15, 2023
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Annual Report Carousel - July 2023

Dear CCOF members and supporters, 

Here at CCOF, we have a vision of a world where organic is the norm. We value integrity, courage, community, and representation of and for organic producers. Together, our vision and values compose a compass that directs and focuses our work supporting the organic community. In 2022, the CCOF Foundation returned over and over to these principles to evaluate whether our actions mirror our core values. Learn more about our work over the last year in our 2022 Annual Report. 

Examining our values alignment has inspired us to redesign our grant…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, August 15, 2023
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Hawaii

The CCOF Foundation offers relief funding for organic farms experiencing hardship, often due to climate disasters. When fires affect small organic farms, like the recent fires that devastated many communities on Maui and on several of the Hawaiian Islands, the CCOF Foundation is here to help. 

Please consider donating to the CCOF Foundation’s Hardship Assistance program. When we respond to climate disasters like this one, 100 percent of your donation will go directly to farmers in need. 

Donations can be made online at www.ccof.org/donate. Contact CCOF Foundation Donor…