CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy, policy


Hemp

In late May, the California Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1409 (R-Wilk-21) and is now being considered in the Assembly. SB 1409 would remove barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp and increase access to hemp seed.    CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because the bill would ensure that hemp grown for food and fiber in California is eligible for organic certification. If implemented, the authorized hemp...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on marketing, policy, regulatory


Milk

California dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state of California. The California FMMO was proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and received producer approval by at least a two-thirds vote.   The California FMMO will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used in other FMMO systems. Producer quotas will be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). A FMMO requires handlers of milk within a state to pay minimum class prices according to how...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 11, 2018 on general organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture.   To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire is June 15, 2018.   Farmers and ranchers who have not responded by June 15, 2018, still have until the end of July to complete the Census online through the secure website found on the cover of their Census form. Phone follow-up and personal interviews will also continue through July.   The questionnaire needs to be completed by...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 11, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, grower, handler, help and tips, standards

New U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop insurance programs have expanded risk management options for organic farmers and ranchers. Are you curious to know what programs might be a good fit for your operation?    Join the CCOF Foundation and California FarmLink on June 19 for a webinar that reviews the basics of the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Learn the application requirements and key deadlines for both programs, as well as how the programs meet the needs of organic farmers and ranchers.    Speakers include...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy

Three producer and six producer alternate positions are currently open on the California Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee. The Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee advises the California Secretary of Agriculture and the CDFA Certified Farmers’ Market Program. The committee is comprised of six producers, six certified farmers’ market operators, one consumer, and one county agricultural commissioner, with an alternate for each position. Each member serves a two-year term.   The focus of the committee is on: Promoting the demand and consumption of agricultural products...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, chapters, events

The CCOF Central Coast Chapter (CC Chapter) election voting period is open until Friday, June 15. If you are part of the CC Chapter, make sure your voice is heard!   Your vote is vital to the member-driven democratic process of electing CCOF leadership.    Vote online today!   Why Vote?   The primary purpose of the CCOF chapter system is to ensure that CCOF members are represented at the governance level of the organization. The 14 current chapters form a representative democracy that elects the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors that governs CCOF, Inc., the umbrella organization for CCOF...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Monday, June 11, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) plan is to purchase breeding hens and roosters from an NPIP certified local breeder to start my own organic hatchery. I plan to purchase eighteen hens and three roosters. There will be three breeds, each covering a variety of poultry most in demand while remaining a heritage breed. Each month I will take orders for chicks, deliver, and hatch the orders from the previous month. I will adhere to USDA organic standards. I also plan to free range all poultry to ensure the highest quality of life.    Congratulations Kendall!   Please join us in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 4, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy


CCOF Member Darrell Wood of Leavitt Lake Ranches and Panorama Meats with California Senator Dianne Feinstein   The Organic Trade Association (OTA) held its annual Organic Week in Washington D.C. in late May. Hundreds of organic advocates flocked to DC to participate in the events, which included two conferences and meetings with congressional offices on Capitol Hill.   Organic Week began with The Organic Center’s Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brought together farmers, scientists, and organic stakeholders to discuss organic extension and knowledge transfer. CCOF member Javier Zamora...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 4, 2018 on marketing, NOP, organic market

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the National Organic Program (NOP) recently released their Summary of Activities and Overview Action Plan. The Summary of Activities summarizes NOP enforcement activities since fall 2017. The Overview Action Plan sets forth NOP’s planned enforcement and oversight activities.    In the Overview Action Plan, NOP states that it will maintain the following:  Strong organic control systems: trusted people, processes, and rules Farm to market traceability: worldwide supply chain integrity Robust enforcement: a level playing field for all.   The action...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 4, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My vision is to continue my organic FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) from last year by purchasing a buck Angora rabbit of my own. I will also expand my SAE by utilizing my currently unused rabbit manure and turning it into valuable organic compost to sell to Alaskan gardeners, giving my business another source of income. I will continue to harvest highly desirable organic fiber from organically fed rabbits, and I will use organic, natural, and eco-friendly dyes on the harvested fiber, never harsh chemical dyes. I am already skilled in the fiber arts, and I will improve those...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on general organic, inspection, regulatory

In 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin conducting Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections on produce farms. In preparation for these inspections, CDFA is offering practice FSMA inspections, which CDFA refers to as On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs). Read the blog post below for more information.   While an OFRR is a practice inspection, it is important to note that CDFA inspectors are still required to report egregious food safety conditions that could lead to a public health issue if not immediately corrected. If an egregious condition is found...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Awe Sum Organics is an importer of organic produce from growers in the Southern Hemisphere. We specialize in the import of apples, kiwifruit, pears, grapes, citrus, and blueberries from countries such as New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Awe Sum Organics has been owned and operated in Santa Cruz, California since our founding in 1985.    Company President David Posner began selling organic produce at the inception of the organic movement, and since then Awe Sum Organics has been instrumental in establishing supply channels with organic produce growers in the Southern Hemisphere. As Awe...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, research

Ph.D. student Alejandra Echeverri is working in California’s central coast to understand how strawberry growers and managers of strawberry farming operations perceive birds on the farm.    Specifically, Echeverri hopes to conduct in-person surveys with strawberry growers or managers to understand which practices they are using to attract birds to or deter birds from their farms. She also is interested to find out whether they see some birds as beneficial or pests on their farms.   If you are an organic strawberry grower or a manager of a strawberry farming operation, please consider...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 28, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My plan for my FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is to expand my organic beef herd. I now have two bred cows and two six-month-old calves, which run with my father's organic beef. I want to purchase a registered Black Angus bull to breed my Hereford cattle, which will give me the benefit of heterosis as I work towards an all crossbred commercial organic herd. My cattle are on grass all summer with salt and mineral blocks. They get certified organic ground corn and corn silage in the winter from an organic crop farm thirty miles away. Our farm is all organic and all pasture...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 21, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

USDA announced the termination of the rulemaking process for the national certified organic marketing order. The marketing order was commonly known as the organic check-off. USDA reported that the rulemaking process was terminated because of “uncertain industry support and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.”   The program was proposed by the Organic Trade Association in 2015 to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector...

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