From Field to Forum

Written by Robin Boyle on Thursday, January 31, 2013 on

CCOF’s 40th Anniversary was quite the celebration! The busy day started with our annual membership meeting and continued with an all-day, 82-mile bus tour of organic farms on California’s central coast. Operations such as Phil Foster’s Pinnacle Brand, Serendipity Farms, and Fuentes Berry Farms were stops along the tour. After the tour, a reception with organic beverages and food awaited the hungry travelers. One of the many highlights of the day was our new eight-minute video that reflects the spirit of CCOF over the last 40 years. The video finished to hoots and applause from the audience....
Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, January 21, 2013 on grower, handler, livestock, retail

CCOF’s annual membership meeting will take place at the top of a series of anniversary events – Celebrating Forty Years of Growing Organic Agriculture. The meeting will be held 9:00–10:00 a.m. this Wednesday, January 23, in the Kiln Room at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. This meeting is an opportunity for CCOF members to meet with each other, CCOF staff, and board members to let us know what’s on your mind (there will be an open microphone!), so please join us! As part of the celebration, you can take a walk down memory lane: either by joining the anniversary...
Written by Brise Tencer on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 on grower, inputs, materials, pests and pesticides, regulatory, State Organic Program

Understandably, organic growers are concerned about the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a pest that is a carrier of a devastating disease of citrus trees, huanglongbing (HLB). ACP findings are particularly concerning for organic producers because of how few choices there are for organic control methods. In cases of CDFA eradication efforts, there are no currently accepted organic treatments, but organic producers do have tools for management and prevention.  We encourage citrus growers to read up on the issue and be proactive with preventive management. In general, organic common sense principles...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, January 14, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, funding, policy

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry. Organic farmers were hit particularly hard by this move as no funding was provided for the Organic Data Initiative (which provides for price reporting and...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Thursday, January 10, 2013 on advocacy, genetic engineering, services

It's a New Year! Our first CCOF staff meeting of the new year began with sharing personal resolutions and words of wisdom with each other. Our vows to get in better shape, be more present, and take on new challenges match well with CCOF’s organizational goals: Provide more personalized certification services (faster, less paper). Talk directly to local congressional offices for action on a new U.S. farm bill and investment in organic. While averting the fiscal cliff, Congress eliminated nearly all farm bill support for organic agriculture. Remind our friends and neighbors to say “No” to GMOs...
Written by Brise Tencer on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 on advocacy, food safety, policy, standards

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released two proposed rules for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011. One of the rules is about produce safety and other is about processing. Both rules have 120-day comment periods. Additional rules related to implementation of FSMA are expected. The proposed Produce Safety Rule would establish standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce on domestic and foreign farms in light of identified routes of microbial contamination of produce, including agricultural water;...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, January 4, 2013 on farming: materials and inputs, grower, help and tips, inputs, water

Widespread leakage of nitrogen from agricultural production has become a huge problem worldwide. Recent news articles have reported that numerous small towns in California’s central valley, the country’s most productive agricultural region, must use bottled water because their municipal water supplies are contaminated with dangerous levels of nitrates. A report issued by UC Davis in early 2012 documented that in California’s Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley, “roughly 254,000 people are currently at risk for nitrate contamination of their drinking water.” The “dead zone” in the Gulf of...
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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2012 on biodiversity, funding, member news

This interview originally appeared in Certified Organic magazine, fall 2012, by Matt Boitano, CCOF Intern. Most people think of mobile homes as a place to live, but not Chris Hay. He uses them for pest management on his eight-acre farm in Woodland, California, where he harvests a variety of fruits, vegetables, and chickens. For the last two years, Chris has been running what he calls “an integrated farm,” in which each aspect of the land and its inhabitants is cultivated for multiple uses to maximize conservation and functionality. The mobile homes, for instance, carry around his hens, which...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, November 26, 2012 on

The organic equivalent of “Got Milk?” may be on the way. Interest in creating an organic research and promotion order (or check-off program), which would generate between $30 and $50 million annually for organic research and promotion, is nothing new. But the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is taking a fresh approach to exploring this mechanism to boost U.S. organic sales. The approach first takes some old baggage off of the table by explicitly stating that an Organic Research and Promotion Program (ORPP) should support and not burden organic farmers: check-off assessments would not be made...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 19, 2012 on book review, CalCAN, policy

This book review was written by Renata Brillinger, California Climate and Agriculture Network. Part history text, part socio-political commentary and part call to action, Dan Imhoff’s new book offers something for everyone from the seasoned agriculture advocate to the newcomer on the food systems scene. “Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill,” published just a couple of months ago by Dan’s company Watershed Media, comes just as the federal debate over the 2012 Farm Bill is heating up. The book is divided into three sections: Why the Farm Bill Matters; Wedge Issues;...
Written by Jake Lewin on Monday, November 12, 2012 on livestock, materials and inputs, services


From livestock to residues, unannounced inspections, and materials, CCOF is always trying to stay ahead of the curve. Have you heard about our Livestock Unannounced Compliance Initiative? The “LUCI” program was launched the 2008. This innovative program is leading U.S. organic certifiers in their approach to organic dairy inspections. In fact, the National Organic Program liked it so much that they asked CCOF to write about it for the April/May 2011 National Organic Program newsletter; check out page five. The LUCI program affirms the value of organic integrity initiatives and has taught us...

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