CCOF Blog

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, April 5, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed


Audrey Jen

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Audrey Jen!While many people are drawn to agriculture because of a family background in farming, Audrey Jen was drawn into agriculture through her interest in science. The deal was sealed for Jen by hands-on experience farming organically for school.Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jen had very little experience with agriculture or produce aside from what she saw in the grocery store. A biology class sparked her initial interest in growing; she had never before seen a seed grow to become the food that we see on our tables. Jen decided to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 5, 2021 on education


Greenhouse seedlings

Extending your farm’s production season—either by getting a jump on an early harvest or by continuing into the winter months—is a great way to bring additional income to the farm. Both early-season or late-season extensions are worth considering. However, if you can offer spring and summer crops before other farms, you will reap more of the benefits. Customers drawn to your early produce are more likely to stick with your stand throughout the entire season. It is much harder to get customers to shop with you once they have already found another source they like. Customers are more excited to...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 5, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, roadmap


Fishpeople

It’s been one year since Patagonia released its film, Fishpeople: Lives Transformed by the Sea. While it may not seem directly related to organic agriculture, the health of oceans is inextricably linked to the health of the soil.CCOF Foundation Visionary-level donor and outspoken environmental steward Patagonia has a mission to save our home planet. The company's fair and sustainable sourcing practices, their consistent support of environmental nonprofits across the globe, and the powerful platform where they share their values have attracted a loyal audience to Patagonia. Within the last...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 5, 2021 on food safety, webinar

Join the CCOF Foundation and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on April 13 for a webinar that will help food hubs and other local food buyers (including farms in some cases) understand how to verify their farm suppliers in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).In this webinar, we will break down the complex supplier verification requirement of the FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule (also known as the "PC Rule"). The PC Rule applies to “facilities,” which in some cases can include farms. Part of the PC Rule requires food hubs and other buyers to “verify their...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 5, 2021 on roadmap

A recent farmer- and rancher-led climate change solutions report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) highlights the importance of organic agriculture as a climate solution. In stakeholder engagement meetings, farmers, ranchers, and relevant nonprofits discussed organic as both a climate solution and a mechanism to protect communities from pesticide exposure.The resulting report reflects this input and includes recommendations for the state to further implement organic in California. These recommendations include (but are not limited to) supporting the transition to...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 5, 2021 on conservation, water

Nominations are open for the inaugural Specialty Grower Sustainability Award until April 16, 2021. The award sponsors are looking for growers that have made efforts on their farm including:Participation in sustainability tracing programsSocial impact in local communityApplying more biological products vs. conventional chemistriesNew irrigation practices/system that reduces water usageSponsored by Great American Media Services and Valent U.S.A., the award will be presented at the United Fresh Convention & Expo in June 2021. The winner will be profiled in multiple Great American Media...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 29, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Cal-Organic

We recently learned a few facts from Zach Wortiska, organic seed manager for Cal-Organic. Via the Instagram story feature, CCOF Foundation Visionary supporter Cal-Organic hosts a series called In the Fields with Zach, wherein Wortiska discusses the benefits of organic agriculture, especially the nutritional benefits. For those wanting to learn more, much of this information is available and cited in the CCOF Foundation’s Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report. For now, we’ll sum up some of the fun facts Wortiska and Cal-Organic share with their social media audience:Organic carrots...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 29, 2021 on pests and pesticides

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has tapped a diverse group of experts to serve in its new Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) Work Group, which will advise DPR on how to implement a transition away from harmful chemicals–a transition that Governor Gavin Newson says is a high priority for the state.  The SPM Work Group will pick up where the previous Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Work Group left off and will guide state agencies in creating alternatives to the use of highly toxic synthetic pesticides. This will include increased research and education in organic pest...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 29, 2021 on crisis resilience, funding, policy

Earlier this month, the federal government approved $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 economic relief, including $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans, vaccination resources, and aid to state and local governments. Provisions in the package for agriculture, known as the American Rescue Plan, amount to a relatively minor $16 billion spread across several programs.A key portion of the agriculture funding includes billions in debt relief for farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). This provision is a version of the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, which the new...
Written by Laura Mathias on Thursday, March 25, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers program


Klinger

Abby Klinger is a Future Organic Farmer grant recipient based in Pennsylvania. From April 1 through April 30 of 2021, Bonterra Organic Vineyards will match every donation from Pennsylvanian residents to the CCOF Future Organic Farmer program up to $10,000, directly supporting the next generation of organic producers in Pennsylvania!CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer program has supported the education of many students in Pennsylvania by providing financial assistance to high school and vocational students who are pursuing organic farming. As many farmers are reaching retirement age, this...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 22, 2021 on materials and inputs, NOSB

Deadlines are approaching to submit public comments and register for oral comments for the spring 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. We encourage CCOF members to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances, especially regarding substances listed on their Organic System Plan.Crop MaterialsCopper sulfate (§205.601(a)(3) & §205.601(e)(4))The NOSB will review copper sulfate for use as an algicide in aquatic rice systems and as tadpole shrimp control in aquatic rice production at the...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed


FOF

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Malcolm St. CyrMalcolm St. Cyr has a wealth of life experience and a wide world view that will help advance organic in the United States and globally. Born and raised between Washington D.C. and Senegal, St. Cyr has been challenged to learn English, French, Arabic, and Wolof (a Senegalese dialect), as well as the ways of two different countries and cultures. His goals are rooted in his life experience in sub-Saharan Africa, where he learned the importance and the challenges of community and regional food sovereignty. One important answer St....
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021 on advocacy, policy

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 15, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, organic training institute


FSMA

Join the CCOF Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on March 23 for a webinar that will provide updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.As of January 2020, farms with more than $25,000 in annual produce sales need to comply with the federal FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The March 23 webinar will provide a brief overview of the three legal classifications for farms: fully exempt, qualified exempt (partially exempt), and fully covered (full compliance required). Presenters from CAFF and the FDA’s...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 15, 2021 on crisis resilience


Farmworkers

Though the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends prioritizing food and agricultural workers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by placing them in the phase 1B eligibility tier, states vary in prioritizing these workers.According to an article in the Insurance Journal, some states are elevating the elderly and other essential workers over food and agricultural workers.For information on vaccine availability in your state, visit the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine webpage and select your state in the box labeled “How Do I Get a Vaccine?” For information on vaccines in California, visit...

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