From Field to Forum

Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, November 28, 2016 on CCOF

As the organic movement grows, CCOF follows – we’re looking for passionate, talented individuals to help us support the organic community. From certifying farms and products, to engaging in organic advocacy, to helping the CCOF Foundation make a difference, there are a multitude of ways to get involved with organic at CCOF. Apply for one of our open positions, or spread the word to qualified individuals you know who would be great additions to our team. We are accepting applications for the following positions: Handler Certification Specialist CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) seeks two...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 28, 2016 on events, food safety

CCOF is hosting a three-day GLOBALG.A.P. IFA-Crops-Fruit & Veg v5.0-2 / PSS Training. If you want to learn more about GLOBALG.A.P. and food safety certification, you won’t want to miss this educational event December 5-7, 2016 at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California. Join the food safety and GLOBALG.A.P. experts for a three-day educational experience that includes two days of classroom instruction and one day of on-farm practical inspection experience on a certified organic farm. This training is perfect for producers considering a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting opened with the announcement of five new appointees to the federal advisory committee. The NOSB was established by the Organic Foods Production Act to advise the National Organic Program on materials allowed in organic production and other organic issues. It is composed of 15 volunteers from around the country and includes four organic farmers; two handlers; three experts in environmental protection and resource conservation; three representatives of public interest or consumer groups; an expert in toxicology, ecology, or...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The deadline to comment on the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposed rules on pesticide applications near schools has been extended to December 9, 2016. The rules may affect your operation. They propose to restrict pesticide applications via aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or in the form of a dust, powder, or fumigant to ¼ mile from a school site between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. During those same hours, ground-rig spray, field soil injection, and drip or flood chemigation applications must be applied at least 25 feet...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 14, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held November 16-18 in St. Louis, Missouri. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). The agenda for the fall NOSB meeting includes the review of a diverse set of materials, including carrageenan used in organic processing and copper sulfate used in organic rice production. NOSB will also discuss numerous other...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting written comments and holding three public hearings on proposed rules that will more strictly regulate pesticide applications near schools. The new rules restrict pesticide applications to ¼ mile or 25 feet from school sites between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the distance depending on the application method and the type of pesticide. Property owners must provide both annual and application-specific notification to schools in advance of all pesticide applications. Read the text of the rules. Learn...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Play a role in developing sustainable groundwater use rules by participating in your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The group Salinas Valley Groundwater is holding a stakeholder forum on Monday, November 14, to develop recommendations on the structure of this new agency, which will develop and implement plans to sustainably manage groundwater. California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 that requires the state, for the first time, to regulate groundwater use. The Groundwater Sustainability Agencies will develop groundwater management plans for their...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, October 31, 2016 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

For the last three years, CCOF and partners have sponsored grants through the National FFA for students to conduct organic Supervised Agricultural Experience grants. There are 33 grants of $1,000 available for students in grades 7 through 11. Quality applications have a good possibility of being funded. Applications are made available through the National FFA Organization (FFA) and are due November 15, 2016. Previous recipient Rachel Stanley used her grant to install an organic edible landscape, and Jonathan Noblitt received a grant to cultivate organic mushrooms. Other students have raised...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 11 comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in advance of the board’s November meeting. The comments address a range of NOSB agenda items, from materials slated for sunset in 2018 to hydroponic organic production. Click on the links below for CCOF’s comments. All of the comments submitted to the NOSB can be read online. The NOSB is a federal advisory board to the National Organic Program. It convenes formal meetings twice annually to discuss materials scheduled for sunset off the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and other organic issues. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on regulatory, water

All farming operations, including those that are certified organic, that are producing commercial crops on irrigated land on California’s central coast must enroll in the Central Coast Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and comply with the Agricultural Order requirements. Fines of up to $1,000 per day may be assessed on operations who fail to enroll. Operations that have been notified they must enroll and fail to do so are most at risk of being fined. To find out which of the nine regional water quality control boards in which your operation is located, please navigate to this map and type in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on water

COPA is organizing conversations and house meetings in East Salinas around issues of water and the new Groundwater Sustainability Agency that is being created. COPA is an organization of 24 member institutions throughout the region that work together on issues that emerge out of conversations like these. If you are interested in participating in one of these conversations, please contact the COPA office at 831-728-3210. *** This article was submitted by Rosa Vitela of Communities Organized for Relational Power In Action (COPA).
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on espanol, water

COPA está organizando conversaciones y reuniones de casa en el este de Salinas en torno a cuestiones del agua y la nueva implementación de la Agencia de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea (Groundwater Sustainability Agency) que está siendo creada. COPA es una organización de 24 instituciones miembros a través de la región que trabajan juntas en temas que surgen de conversaciones como esta, y si a usted le interesaría participar en una de estas conversaciones, favor de ponerse en contacto con la oficina de COPA al 831-728-3210. ***  Escrito por Rosa Vitela de Communities Organized for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The national Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of national legislation for the agricultural sector. The Farm Bill provides funding for an array of programs that serve farmers and ranchers. It comes up for renewal by the United States Congress every five years. To prepare for the next Farm Bill, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in a Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill. The brief survey addresses production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, October 21, 2016 on advocacy, funding, policy

Two grantmaking programs that fund organic work are now open for proposals. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is accepting research proposals. OFRF is currently accepting research proposals from applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 10, 2016. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in early spring 2017. OFRF offers funding for research on...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, October 21, 2016 on pests and pesticides, research


A California Deptartment of Food and Agriculture grant proposal, Biological Control of Bagrada Bug, Bagrada Hilaris (Pentatomidae), was selected for funding by the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. This project will provide a sustainable pest management strategy for suppressing this pest in California. First reported in the United States in 2008, the bagrada bug has spread throughout agricultural areas of Imperial and Riverside counties, up through the Central Valley, and along the coast from San Diego to Monterey Bay. Currently, the only means for controlling this pest is the use of...

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