From Field to Forum

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Friday, September 4, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


CCOF is pleased to announce that the Bricmont Fund is open for applications for hardship assistance from now until October 23, 2015. The fund provides direct financial assistance exclusively to certified organic producers and processors/handlers who suffer losses due to extreme hardship such as fire, flood, freeze, insect pressures, and drought. Since 2007, CCOF has distributed funds annually to members of the organic community who are in need. Eligibility Criteria: Certified organic operations currently in good standing (valid organic certificate required for consideration) Severe economic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, September 4, 2015 on advocacy, drought, policy, water

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is updating the list of critically overdrafted basins in the state as part of its responsibilities under the new California groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. The list of critically overdrafted basins and subbasins is open for comment through September 25, 2015. The draft list is online here, and the statewide map is posted here. Click on this link for more information and instructions on how to comment (scroll down to “Next Steps”). A basin is considered to be critically overdrafted if existing...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Friday, September 4, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Jesse Cruz Mira Costa Junior College,...
Written by Laura McKissack on Friday, September 4, 2015 on cost share, fees, financial assistance, funding

The application deadline for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is fast approaching! Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 may apply for reimbursement by October 31, 2015. All certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. CCOF has made it easy to apply with Cost Share forms and instructions and a checklist...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

Over the next few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will publish the final food safety requirements for produce farms and food processing facilities under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Many produce farmers and food processors that make food for people to eat will need to comply with the new food safety requirements.How did we get here? In 2011, President Obama signed FSMA in to law. FSMA represented the first overhaul to food safety practices in the United States since 1938.FSMA directed FDA to engage in public rulemaking to establish new food safety standards. In...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, August 31, 2015 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Kimberly and Mufasa

The CCOF Foundation is proud to partner with the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) to offer 20 $1,000 scholarships for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants. Now in its second year, the joint project between FFA and CCOF gives FFA students across the country the opportunity to learn how to grow organic food, raise organic animals, or conduct experiments about organic agriculture. Last year the CCOF Foundation was able to sponsor 10 scholarships through FFA. Read about all the 2014 winners.Kimberly Vargas was one of those students. Kimberly is a high school student in...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, financial assistance, policy

A new type of crop insurance, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, may better serve highly diversified organic crop and livestock producers than traditional crop insurance policies. Rather than covering losses of a particular crop, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection covers all crops and livestock produced on a single farm. In response to suggestions made by CCOF’s partner organizations, the Organic Trade Association and its Farmers Advisory Council and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) made a number of changes to the program since its initial release in...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 31, 2015 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore from September 17-19. Come by booth #1509 to talk about our “Organic is Non-GMO & More” certification seal, organic certification, and more.You can also follow along on our Twitter account, where we’ll be tweeting from the show.We hope to see you there!
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 31, 2015 on policy, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) announced that it will keep its National Survey of Organic Farmers open through September 14, 2015.Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.The 34-question survey focuses on certified organic farmers’ research needs and also collects information on the organic community’s experience with GMO contamination, pesticide drift, and food safety issues.Widespread participation by organic farmers across the country will ensure that research needs of all types and scales of certified organic production are recorded. Survey results inform...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 31, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF encourages growers who implement conservation practices to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS is undertaking a major “reboot” of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which will be implemented at the beginning of 2016. This “reboot” is an important opportunity for farmers to provide feedback to the NRCS. Specifically, CCOF is encouraging the NRCS to make the following improvements to CSP:NRCS should rank existing conservation practices the same as additional conservation practices. NRCS has consistently...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, August 31, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jennie Wagner

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Jennie WagnerNorth Carolina State...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety, policy, research

A new study out of the University of California, Berkeley shows that removing vegetation adjacent to farms on California’s Central Coast has not reduced the incidence of E. coli found in fresh produce. Instead, the reverse is true: farms that retained nongrazed riparian or other natural vegetation types had significantly lower prevalence of generic E. coli in water and pathogenic E. coli in produce.These results contradict the conventional wisdom that developed in 2006 when spinach contaminated with pathogenic E. coli entered the stream of commerce and caused three deaths and 205 illnesses....
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, August 24, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Fujii

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Alexis FujiiUniversity of California...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Monday, August 24, 2015 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) approved removal of four materials from the National List, and the proposed rule that finalizes removal is now open for comment through August 31, 2015. Read the rule and submit a comment.Marsala wine and sherry wine were eligible for sunset removal and the NOSB voted these ingredients off the list at its fall 2014 meeting.Approval of the antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline to control fire blight in organic apples and pears expired in October 2014, and the NOSB did not renew it. Growers who face increased disease pressure or economic losses...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety

CCOF has joined the Food Quality Alliance (FQA) as its designated provider of organic certification services. The Food Quality Alliance is a consortium of industry-leading providers of food certification, testing, consulting, and educational services, and our participation in the group comes with a host of benefits for our members.Most notably, in addition to CCOF’s food safety services for growers, we are now pleased to give our processor members access to a variety of food safety certifications at a discounted rate through this arrangement with FQA. These certifications include:British...

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