CCOF Blog

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 2, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Celsa Ortega

This season of giving, I’d like to ask you to consider a gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through an incredible matching opportunity in partnership with Patagonia Action Works. Your gift will be doubled, resulting in changed lives such as that of Celsa Ortega. Thirteen years ago, Celsa was living in her home community in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family farmed there without added chemicals, using integrated natural systems to promote healthy soil and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. When she immigrated to the United States, Celsa never imagined she could have her own organic farm...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Join the CCOF Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) for a webinar on December 10 that provides a practical introduction to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), a crop insurance option for diversified organic farms and ranches. In this webinar you will learn what information you need to apply for WFRP, assess if this crop insurance product is right for your farming operation, and learn how the documentation you keep for organic certification can support your application. Crop insurance is just one of many tools to manage the risks of an organic farming business...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 2, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Ignacio Mendoza

Monday, December 2 is the final day to purchase tickets to attend the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS). If you’re attending OGS, you will not want to be without a seat to this beautiful event.  The California Strawberry Commission recently produced this video about CCOF-certified organic farmer José Mendoza and his family. José’s son Ignacio was the first in his family to attend college, and we are proud to support his education through the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Ignacio will be joining us as a speaker for the evening, building upon the legacy set forth by...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF, general organic, producer

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will mail letters with survey codes this December to more than 22,000 U.S. producers involved in certified or transitioning to certified organic farming for the 2019 Organic Survey. Each producer who self-reported organic farming in the 2017 Census of Agriculture will receive a unique survey code to respond conveniently online and to be represented in this very important, once-every-five-year data. "The latest Census of Agriculture results show continued interest in organic agriculture among consumers, producers, and businesses,” said...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF, general organic, marketing

Each edition of Certified Organic magazine is packed with up-to-date information for the organic enthusiast, including engaging feature articles, client spotlights, certification news, advocacy updates, events, producer resources/tips, and more. Browse the most recent issue! A $12 annual subscription to Certified Organic includes two beautiful, informative copies of the magazine delivered to your mailbox each year. A subscription is also a great gift for the organic enthusiast in your life, or a yearly gift to your local school’s agricultural program. Visit our store to purchase your...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joseph Malone

I am an agroecology student at West Virginia University and I also work at the WVU Organic Research Farm.  This grant will be used to further my study of agroecological principles and rural development at West Virginia University, and the WVU Organic Research Farm.  My goals are to find the sustainable management practices, crops, and rotations that are best suited to the unique farming conditions found here in the Mountain State.  It is my firm conviction that small scale sustainable agriculture is the key to rebuilding West Virginia and its proud people in a post-coal world.  The decline of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, education, events, general organic

Since the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp legal, there has been a lot of excitement about the growing hemp marketplace. Hemp is an incredibly sustainable crop that builds soil, requires little to no pesticides, and only requires about a third of the water that is used to grow corn. The right varieties of hemp can even offer producers two harvests from one crop—the seed can be processed for oil, and the fiber can be used for textiles and manufacturing. Hemp has the potential to provide a lot of opportunities for growers, processors, the economy, and the environment. Learn more at the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 25, 2019 on education, events, food safety, general organic

The organic community on the Central Coast of California and beyond are gearing up for a fruitful exchange of ideas, contacts, and networking at this year’s Organic Grower’s Summit (OGS), hosted by CCOF and the Organic Produce Network, in Monterey, California on December 4-5, 2019. This year is lining up to be a great one with an action-packed line up of speakers, dinners, and extensive exhibition trade show floor. If you haven’t registered, now is the time to reserve your spot!  CCOF is proud to be a part of this year’s summit, as we are hosting and speaking on multiple panels. Please join...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 25, 2019 on CCOF, education, events, international, organic market, services


CCOF Food Safety

Register now for the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building, and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS, hosted at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California on December 17-19, 2019. CCOF is hosting the GLOBALG.A.P. experts for an in-depth review of the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), with two days of classroom education and one day of on-farm mock inspection using the HPSS.   Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to advance your Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) skills with the GLOBALG.A.P. IHT, Capacity Building and Farm Assurer Workshop-HPSS. Learn everything about the GLOBALG.A.P. System and...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic

The Produce Safety Alliance recently added new videos to its  YouTube channel. Some videos offer an introduction to the Produce Safety Alliance and its Grower Training Course, while others provide easy-to-understand explanations to food safety questions like “Why must we monitor the temperature of water used during postharvest handling?” or “What is a biofilm?” Some videos are offered in both English and Spanish. The Produce Safety Alliance’s Grower Training Course fulfills the supervisor training requirement for farms that are required to be in full compliance  with the Food Safety...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 25, 2019 on general organic

According to a recently released report by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California’s gross sales revenue from certified organic processed products grew from $11.65 billion in 2017 to $13.17 billion in 2018. These figures show continued growth for the sector, which includes organic products such as cheese, fruit juice, and dried pasta. CDPH, which provides oversight of processed food for the State Organic Program, provides an annual report on the number of organic registrants, annual gross sales, and the amount of each organic processed product type sold.  The report also...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Gabriela Verdusco

My name is Gabriela Verdusco. I'm am from Le Grand CA, a small town in the Central Valley. After high school I attended Merced Community College to obtain my Associates in general agriculture while working for the Le Grand High agricultural department as a teacher’s aide. I also spent a significant amount of time on my family’s almond orchard assisting my dad with day to day chores. After attending my junior college, I transferred to CSU Chico to pursue a degree in Animal Science. When I'm not studying, I am working at the Chico State Organic Dairy where I discovered my passion for organic...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 18, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Ignacio Mendoza

Growing organic agriculture relies on supporting the next generation of organic farmers, and this is your opportunity to learn more about what a future organic farmer’s journey looks like. You’ll be able to meet Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient Ignacio Mendoza when he speaks at the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit on December 4.  Not only is Mendoza the first of his family to attend college, he’s also the first of his family to graduate from high school. A CCOF-certified member, Mendoza grew up helping his father grow organic strawberries on the central coast of...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 18, 2019 on

Curious how other small-scale farmers are addressing food safety on their farms? Check out The Farmers Beet Podcast by Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) and hear stories from farmers around California about their food safety techniques. Listen to episodes that highlight food safety techniques from Live Oak Farm in Petaluma, California, Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California, and other farms around the Golden State.  Learn from farmers as they discuss innovative food safety recordkeeping for composting systems, step-by-step approaches to integrating food safety into...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 18, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic


Morales Conservation Tillage

Healthy soils are key to organic farming and reducing soil disturbance is a cornerstone to improving soil health. No-till methods have spread to vegetable production on some small farms, but how can larger acreage be farmed to minimize soil disturbance?  A workshop on December 6 in Watsonville will highlight the conservation low-tillage methods and equipment developed by Israel Morales, voted Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. Not only does reduced tillage improve soil health, it also saves time between crops, reduces fuel costs, and saves on labor.   The workshop...

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