From Field to Forum

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on advocacy, CCOF, events, policy


Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy. The dedication and diversity among Policy Day participants was truly inspirational. The list of advocates included some of our longest certified members, new and beginning farmers, interested consumers, and people involved in food and...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides

The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is spreading throughout California. Organic and non-organic citrus growers are concerned about the spread of ACP because it can spread HuanLongBing (HLB), also known as Citrus Greening disease. This report is an update on activities around detection, quarantine, and control of ACP and HLB. In the last three months, a number of new ACP finds in new counties are causing quarantined areas to expand rapidly. New quarantines exist in Madera, Fresno, and Santa Clara counties where recent finds have indicated breeding populations of ACP. View the statewide map and...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until February 27 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 9, 2015 on policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through February 17, 2015. The Proposed Exemption The proposed rule includes significant expansions to the organic exemption from federal check-off programs. It allows split operations, e.g. operations with both organic and conventional production, to seek exemptions. It also expands the exemption to both the 100% organic label and to the primary organic label (95% organic)....
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 9, 2015 on CalCAN, events

The early bird registration rates for the California Climate & Agriculture Summit on March 24 & 25, 2015 in Davis, CA have been extended to February 20. Register here! The Summit is a gathering of farmers and ranchers, scientists, advocates, agriculture professionals and policymakers to share knowledge and work towards solutions to our climate crisis. The themes of this year’s Summit include: 1.  Coping with drought     2.  Soil building 3.  Farmland conservation  Other features of the Summit include: A farm tour of three Yolo County farms on March 24 15 breakout sessions with over 50...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 9, 2015 on biodiversity, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a draft guidance to clarify biodiversity and natural resources requirements. The Draft Guidance, “Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations,” is open for comment now through February 27, 2015. The National Organic Standards require that certified organic operations “maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.” They define natural resources as the “physical, hydrological, and biological features of a production operation, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 2, 2015 on policy

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, February 2, 2015 on

CCOF is hitting the road this spring to attend organic and food industry events and meet with you! As a dynamic trade association, CCOF sponsors a variety of educational trainings and conferences. We also attend industry trade shows to promote our members and their certified organic products. At each event, we are excited to meet with new and long-time certified members, answer your questions, and learn more about how we can support your organic business. Stop by our exhibit booth or contact us to set up an appointment. See you at these events soon! Organicology 2015  Portland, OR | 2/5-2/7...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, February 2, 2015 on CCOF, member news

CCOF-certified member Jenny Lester Moffitt of Dixon Ridge Farms has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislation and Special Assistant to the Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the appointment last week. Moffitt has been managing director of Dixon Ridge Farms since 2005 and served on the CCOF Board for over two years. She previously served as an education, outreach and research specialist at the American Farmland Trust and is vice chair of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Moffitt will be a...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 19, 2015 on policy


CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. Organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and your...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, January 19, 2015 on events

CCOF will be at this year’s 35th annual EcoFarm Conference; will you? As the largest and oldest ecological agricultural gathering in the west, the EcoFarm Conference offers more than 70 workshops featuring an array of educational and technical workshops, along with notable keynote speakers, an exhibitor marketplace, live entertainment, discussion groups, mixers, delicious organic meals and libations. Visit www.eco-farm.org for more info and to register. Plus, CCOF will be co-sponsoring the New and Beginning Farmer/Rancher Mixer from 5:30-11:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 22. Get to know the...
Written by Jane Sooby and Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015 on advocacy, marketing

Comment period extended to February 17, 2015. Comment now. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through January 15, 2015, and is expected to become law next year. The Proposed Exemption The proposed rule includes significant expansions to the organic exemption from federal check-off programs. It allows split operations, e.g. operations with both organic and conventional production, to seek exemptions. It also...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, January 12, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, education, financial assistance, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) was founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers with a mission to train future generations of American youth to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population. Today, their classes and clubs reach hundreds of thousands of young people across the United States. For the most part, these agriculturally-minded youth are trained in conventional agriculture. Now, through an innovative partnership with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, FFA students will have access to funding for organic projects. Hear from the FFA grant recipients about...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, January 12, 2015 on events, livestock


Learn to grow more grass, animals, and community at the first Western Regional Grazing Conference: Grazing for Change, on February 27 and 28, 2015, at the Chico State University College of Agriculture Farm Pavilion. Farmers and ranchers face enormous challenges today, from the drought conditions in the western United States to rising costs of production, regulations, family succession hurdles, and feed availability for livestock. Livestock producers are seeking lasting solutions to these issues Livestock producers need a way to increase production of the land they have instead of seeking more...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015 on advocacy, policy, research, State Organic Program

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations. CCOF’s findings will be compiled in a comprehensive report titled The California Organics Review...

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