CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 7, 2021 on advocacy, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting public comment through June 15 on the funding rules for its new Conservation Agriculture Planning Grant Program.  Please consider making a comment using the points outlined below.An outcome of CCOF’s advocacy for CDFA support for organic farmers in its Climate Smart Agriculture programs, this new program received $20 million in Governor Gavin Newsom’s May revision of the state budget.As proposed, the planning grant program would offer funding for 11 Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs) developed by the USDA Natural Resources...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 7, 2021 on drought, livestock

Whether they milk cows or raise livestock for meat, ongoing drought conditions in the state have forced ranchers and dairy farmers to downsize their herds as they face soaring costs to sustain their animals.In regions such as Marin and Sonoma counties, where farmers and ranchers rely heavily on pasture and natural rainfall to grow feed crops and provide drinking water for their livestock, the duration of the current dry spell has been particularly hard.The U.S. Drought Monitor has classified large swaths of the region as under "exceptional drought"—the highest level of drought intensity—...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, June 7, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Forager

Stephen Williamson, co-Founder of Forager Project, recently spoke with Michelle Courtright, agriculture and food writer based out of Austin, Texas. In the interview with Courtright, Williamson says, “I think people should embrace the idea that they might want to really think about where their food comes from, how it’s made, and who are the people behind it.” We couldn’t agree more!Plant-based food company Forager Project recently invested $10,000 in CCOF’s Future Organic Farmer program. A full 100 percent of this donation will support the next generation of organic producers, who may one day...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, June 7, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


TA

CCOF Foundation supporter Tanimura & Antle recently announced the exciting acquisition of Green City Growers, a Certified B Corp corporation aimed at providing customers with the tools, infrastructure, and education necessary to grow organic produce at home. Despite the geographic distance between the two companies’ headquarters in Salinas, California and Boston, Massachusetts, Tanimura & Antle and Green City Growers couldn’t be closer in their shared values.Both Tanimura & Antle and Green City Growers alike seek to educate communities on the origins of their food. In 2020, the...
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Celsa

After 13 years of working in the fields processing lettuce, Celsa Coronel decided it was time for a change. While training for a position in an office setting, Coronel saw a presentation about ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association and knew that a farming path was more aligned with her passions and interests: “When I saw this opportunity, and they explained to me how everything worked, I said, ‘That is right: Here you can give it your all because it’s for you, for your future, for your family, and to help people.’ And so, I changed [back] to agriculture, because that was...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Clif

The Clif Bar Family Foundation, a longtime Champion-level supporter of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer program, is no stranger to organic advocacy. Those familiar with Clif Bar know of its many investments in the future of the industry. From launching the University of California’s first-ever organic research institute at UC Davis to supporting first responders amid the tragic wildfire seasons of recent years, Clif Bar is far beyond an average food company. One could argue that they are setting the standard for corporate philanthropy, using business as a medium for changing our...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Yemenis

Like many in the CCOF-certified farming community, Sunview Vineyards is a multigenerational, family-run operation. As a longtime supporter of the CCOF Foundation, Sunview is committed to reinvesting resources into future organic producers. Sunview’s founder, Marko Zaninovich, emigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States and began Sunview Vineyards. Over the years, many of Sunview’s farm professionals have come from Mexico, but a small portion came from Yemen, fleeing political turmoil in their homeland.Nearly a decade ago, PBS aired a mini-documentary called The Last Harvest: The Yemenis of...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, May 24, 2021 on advocacy, policy


Organic is For Everyone

Eating organic food should not be a privilege; organic is for everyone.Yet today, widespread economic inequality prevents many families from accessing organic. Income inequality is at its highest in California’s history, with a pay disparity almost double today what it was in 1980.At the same time that communities struggle to afford food, California’s farmers struggle to stay in business. Farmers today receive only 18 cents for every dollar that consumers spend on food, compared to 40 years ago when farmers received 40 cents for each dollar spent. A majority of California’s farms operated...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 24, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Eat the Change

In 2020, the CCOF Foundation was one of the first nonprofits to receive a grant from Seth Goldman’s new snack company, Eat the Change. Eat the Change Impact (ETC Impact) is the charitable arm of the company. The CCOF Foundation was chosen as a grant recipient because of our research project, the Roadmap to an Organic California, which laid out the scientific benefits of organic agriculture and opportunities for California to implement organic to address our community, economic, and environmental health needs. The CCOF Foundation was grateful to join the other ETC Impact grantees to move...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 24, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Lundberg

If you were to ask most farmers why they got into the business of agriculture, few would tell you it’s because they wanted to use cellphones, video cameras, and social media to promote the sale of their organic produce. But times are changing rapidly, and as the next generation of organic farmers and producers begin to take the reins from many retiring farmers, so shift the tools used to tell the story the origins of our food.  CCOF Foundation Champion supporter and longtime organic industry leader Lundberg Family Farms educates their consumers from the farmers’ market to the internet. Online...
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, May 17, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, hardship


sunflower

Assisting Organic Producers in Need Since 2007If you or an organic producer you know has experienced hardship during the 2021 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance through the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. The application deadline is midnight on May 28, 2021.Throughout the nation, farmers are experiencing severe economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather patterns, an increase in the duration and number of natural disasters, and financial challenges. Now more than ever, organic producers need access to immediate and long-term...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 17, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers program


Lehia

If you’ve been following the CCOF blog, you’re likely aware of Lehia Apana, co-founder of Polipoli Farms in Waiehu, Maui. Polipoli Farms describes itself as “tucked away in the Waiehu foothills,” and is located “on the same ʻāina mōmona [fertile land] that fed generations of Native Hawaiians.” Says Apana, “As a Hawaiian-run farm, we blend indigenous and modern growing practices.”Lehia Apana is a multiyear recipient of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer grant. Receiving financial support from CCOF was but one piece of the puzzle in launching Polipoli Farms. Apana describes how...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, May 17, 2021 on food safety


Leafy greens

GLOBALG.A.P.’s Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) standard has successfully achieved recognition against the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Benchmarking Requirements, Version 2020.1. Congratulations to the GLOBALG.A.P. team for their hard work and effort developing a packinghouse food safety standard that provides choice in the marketplace.  The PHA certification program is available to on-farm and stand-alone post-harvest handling facilities around the world. It provides food safety management certification of post-harvest activities, such as cooling, packing, repacking, handling, and storage...
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, May 17, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program

For the last 15 years, Santiago Contreras has been a vegetarian—conscious of healthy eating and healthy food. After many years working in the restaurant industry, he made the leap to learn to become a farmer by enrolling in the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) to develop his knowledge and skills to work the land. After a year of classroom learning and hand-on training, Contreras is now a full-time farmer cultivating many different vegetables, such as squash, beans, tomatoes, onions, and melons, on five rented acres in Hollister....
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 10, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Harvester

Longtime CCOF Foundation Visionary-level donor Driscoll’s is headquartered in Watsonville, California. Driscoll’s employs farm professionals from all over the world. Those based in Watsonville, like Zenaida and Hector, spend their days growing berries.Zenaida and Hector tell their story through Driscoll’s YouTube channel, where they share a typical day in the field. Motivated by economic opportunity for their children and Zenaida’s parents, who reside in Mexico, Zenaida discusses the duality of her career. She also describes the calm, peace, and sense of working in harmony with nature that...

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