Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 27, 2014 on farmers markets

California is the heart of our nation’s food and agricultural innovations, from popularizing farmers’ markets and organic agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s, to a renewed focus in recent years on fresh produce and local foods. As California goes, so goes the nation, right? With more than 800 farmers’ markets now operating in the Golden State, it is fair to say that California represents “ground zero” in the ever-evolving policy and operations issues that farmers’ markets face in the United States. Given this, the significance of Governor Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill (AB) 1871 into law...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 on CCOF, policy

IntroductionKelly Damewood, CCOF Policy Director David Lester, student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, recently completed a summer internship with CCOF. Over the course of two months, he completed an in-depth review of county regulations that may support or encourage certified organic agriculture. Read on for an interesting and worthwhile summary of his findings. For over thirty years, CCOF – one of the first organic certification agencies in the United States – has worked on landmark law and policy such as the California Organic Food Act of 1979 and the National Organic Program (NOP). CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides, research


Citrus greening disease, also known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing, threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. It has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad, ravaging citrus in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly, and once a tree is infected it cannot be cured. Citrus greening is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that transmits the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. These psyllids are prolific breeders, with each female laying up to 800...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 9, 2014 on help and tips

With the increasing cost of organic nitrogen inputs and regulatory restrictions on nitrogen applications in agriculture, it is important to maximize all sources of nitrogen to minimize cost, environmental impact and regulatory headaches. Here is a summary of important strategies to increase nitrogen efficiency: • Test soil, crop, and water to determine nitrogen status before adding nitrogen, of any source. • Use legume cover crops: Inoculate legume seeds at planting with fresh, living Rhizobium of the correct species. Plant immediately. Irrigate as needed to aid establishment and inoculation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 21, 2014 on grower, help and tips, seeds


In the past, it was a challenge for many organic farmers to source organic seed. Fortunately, there are now a number of resources available to make it easier for farmers to find organic seed or to produce it themselves. These resources include the new Organic Seed Finder website, Organic Seed Alliance’s seed production publications, and the eOrganic Seed Resource Guide. Organic Seed Finder, hosted and managed by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), was launched in October 2012 and serves as a free resource for farmers, certifiers, and other stakeholders looking to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 11, 2013 on help and tips

This post was written by Ann Baier, Organic/Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, NCAT. We are here, we are here! Remember that line in Dr. Seuss’ book, Horton Hears a Who? Well, the ATTRA Project of NCAT is here! Long-time allies with CCOF in our mission to foster organic, ecological, sustainable, and successful farmers, a link to ATTRA’s “Ask an Expert” program has been added to the “revolving carousel” of CCOF's homepage. Some of you might say, “We love ATTRA! Our farming business is alive and well because of the information we got from ATTRA.” Others may ask, “What is ATTRA?” ATTRA is the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 on funding, grower

This blog post was written by Sarah Tait of Kiva Zip and Alan Haight of Riverhill Farm. Kiva Zip is a nonprofit located in San Francisco, California, that offers 0% interest loans up to $5,000 to financially excluded entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital. Kiva Zip is actively looking for small farms and food producers that could benefit from their program. Alan and his wife Jo, owners of Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, California, are one such example of a small farm benefitting from a Kiva Zip loan. They used their Kiva Zip loan to purchase equipment for their farm,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Thursday, October 24, 2013 on advocacy, seeds, standards

This post was written by Kristina Hubbard, director of advocacy and communications for Organic Seed Alliance. She recently published an article in Agriculture and Human Values entitled, "Confronting coexistence in the United States: organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Read alfalfa." For another opinion on organic seed issues, visit UNFI VP of Policy and Industry Relations Melody Meyer's blog, Organic Matters. Seed has been in the national headlines a lot these days. We’ve read about chefs teaming up with plant breeders to explore seed as a new frontier, and been...
Written by Guest Blogger on Thursday, August 29, 2013 on grower, water

This post was written by Liz Birnbaum, Program Coordinator at the Ecological Farming Association. All businesses face the challenge of managing their resources to provide a meaningful financial return. Organic farmers face the added challenge of attaining financial viability in harmony with the natural systems upon which their success ultimately depends. A key element in all farming is water. And how it gets used, stored, and managed can make a huge difference in a farm’s success. Water management is not one-size-fits-all, so where can a farmer find the resources to save water and money at...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 on advocacy

This post was written by Eric Steenstra, President, Vote Hemp. On Monday night, Senator Wyden introduced Farm Bill Amendment 952 to define industrial hemp and allow states to regulate it along with bipartisan cosponsorship from Senators Paul, McConnell, and Merkley.  We have never been closer to seeing legal hemp farming in the United States and need your calls and emails to Senate offices today.  Please visit and share this link: http://www.votehemp.com/farmbill.  
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, April 19, 2013 on grower, help and tips

This article appeared in the spring 2013 issue of Certified Organic and was written by Jay Silverstein, partner at Moss Adams. Whether retirement is near or far, thinking about who will take the reins and lead your farm into the future isn’t easy, but it’s especially relevant these days. According to the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, approximately 70 percent of U.S. farmland will go on the market in the next 20 years as the nation’s farmers age. Without a succession plan, many family-run farms are likely to go out of business, be bought by larger farms, or get turned...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 15, 2013 on advocacy, policy

This article appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of Certified Organic magazine. Consumers are increasingly turning to farmers’ markets to buy healthy, fresh produce. As of mid-2012 there were 7,864 farmers’ markets operating nationwide. This is a 9.6 percent increase from 2011. Today, there are over 800 certified (by the state of California) farmers’ markets in California alone, representing approximately 2,200 producers. These markets provide a welcomed higher-margin return to farm producers and reduce costs by eliminating the need for standard pack on fresh fruits and vegetables....
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 on funding, grower, livestock

This post was written by Anita Brown, public affairs director, USDA NRCS California Many organic farmers have dreams of a conservation project they would love to tackle: a multipurpose hedgerow; an efficient, water-saving irrigation system and schedule; a comprehensive plan to build soil organic matter; a hoop house to extend the growing season for local customers. However, the day-to-day demands of farming can leave those dreams stuck on a back burner.  For those who haven’t heard, there is a relatively new resource to help you get cooking on those projects, and over 200 California organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Thursday, February 7, 2013 on funding, grower, livestock

This post was written by Val Dolcini, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California There’s a new USDA loan program that might be the perfect fit for beginning farmers and ranchers seeking access to capital. On January 15, the USDA Farm Service Agency rolled out a new Microloan program designed to help farmers and ranchers with credit needs of $35,000 or less. This new credit tool simplifies and streamlines the process for farmers obtaining loans under $35,000; it cuts the paperwork burden in half and is built to fit the needs of smaller-scale farmers and ranchers. ...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 10, 2012 on advocacy, CalCAN, policy

This article was written by Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network. This is a good news and a bad news story. First, the bad news… In June 2012, an international team of researchers released a report in the journal Nature warning that climate change, population growth, and environmental destruction are leading to a “tipping point” that will cause disastrous and irreversible biological changes across the globe. The authors say that we are poised at the point in history when uncontrollable ecological events are beginning to take place and without bold and immediate...

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