From Field to Forum

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, NOP

Last week, the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy announced his retirement in a letter to the organic community.    In his letter, McEvoy gives deep appreciation to each level of the organic food chain. He highlights his top ten list of accomplishments at NOP which includes: Developing a quality management system for NOP that improves program consistency and effectiveness. Improving the communication and transparency of NOP. Developing the NOP Handbook and implementing the Sound and Sensible certification process. Ensuring that all accreditation audits were...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, standards

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a lawsuit against USDA over its delay of the implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    OTA’s lawsuit alleges that: USDA violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it delayed OLPP without any public process and also violated the same act by abusing its discretion by proposing action to indefinitely delay or shelve the rule; USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act and its consultation provisions where industry and public stakeholders can revise, refine, and advance organic standards via the well-defined...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, materials, NOSB, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the meeting materials for their upcoming fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.    NOSB will discuss: Compliance, Accreditation, & Certification Subcommittee: o Proposal: Eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production o Proposal: Excluded operations in the supply chain (uncertified handlers) Crops Subcommittee: o Crops 2019 Sunset Reviews o Proposal: Petition - Fatty alcohols (octanol/decanol mix) o Proposal: Petition - Anaerobic Digestate o Proposal: Strengthening the organic seed guidance (NOP 5029)...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, events, grower, handler

  Organic Grower Summit 2017 December 13-14Hyatt Regency Monterey Costco announced their commitment to participate in the inaugural Organic Grower Summit (OGS) this coming December in Monterey, California. With annual fresh produce sales of $4 billion, Costco will sponsor a half-day event providing certified organic farmers and growers the opportunity to meet with Costco buyers The confirmation of Costco's commitment to meet with organic growers comes on the heels of all exhibit booths for the event being sold out last week.   The first ever OGS, a joint production between CCOF and Organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, financial assistance, general organic, grower

Scholarship applications are now being accepted to attend the 30th annual California Small Farm Conference (CSFC), an educational and networking event for farmers, ranchers, and farmers’ market managers that will be held at the Robert J. Cabral Ag Center in Stockton, California on October 29-30, 2017.    Keynote speakers at the conference will be Carl Rosato and Helen Atthowe and the young couple who succeeded them on Woodleaf Farm, Danny Lazzarini and Andrew Seidman. Other sessions include Creative Financing Strategies for Sustainable Farmland Succession, CSA Resiliency in a Changing...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

USDA and the National Center for Appropriate Techonology (NCAT) will host the third annual Latino Farmer Conference on November 7, 2017, in Palm Desert, California. The conference is open to all farmers and ranchers, and will be presented in Spanish with English translation provided via translation headsets. The conference aims to bring the Latino farming community, the agricultural industry and agribusiness, and advocates for sustainability together for workshops and networking.   Registration is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, general organic, grower, research, water

Duke University (Duke) is leading a three year study in partnership with RTI International (RTI), Pacific Institute, and California State University in Bakersfield (CSU-B) to study the use of oilfield produced water as an alternative irrigation water source for crop irrigation. The study is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and began in May 2017.     Please contact us if you would like to be included as a participant in our study to optimize safe, sustainable use of alternative irrigation water sources for crop irrigation. We would like to enroll...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Gwen Larrow believes that pursuing a career in organic agriculture will benefit the people, oceans, and economy of Hawaii. The vast majority of Hawaii's food is imported, and Larrow believes she has a responsibility to provide an option of affordable local produce to the people of Hawaii. Larrow wants to be actively involved in farming on Oahu and support organic agricultural methods to help lessen the impact of excessive nutrient run-off and chemicals that enter the water and pollute the marine ecosystems that are so unique to the Hawaiian islands. It is also her goal to contribute to the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Maggie Burkett   For my Supervised Agricultural Experience project, I am taking manure from the two horses I have and composting it. I started this during the winter of 2015, when I enrolled in an agriculture class. The manure composts in large pallets that are five feet tall and four feet wide. Once it finally composts to the degree desired, I fill 10-pound bags and sell them for $2 per bag. My customers left wonderful notes asking me to continue to sell the manure so they can use it to fertilize their gardens. I will use some of the money from this grant to buy a Stall Butler, which is a...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Monday, September 11, 2017 on CCOF

The voting period for amendments to CCOF’s membership bylaws is now open and ends October 2, 2017. If you haven’t already, please check your mailbox or email inbox for these important materials. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws. The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters to include currently unrepresented members, improve board operations, and support growth of the CCOF Foundation.    Why is this vote important?   As outlined in CCOF’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, CCOF fulfills its mission through a tri-part structure. The umbrella...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, September 11, 2017 on cost share, fees, financial assistance, general organic

The application deadline for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is fast approaching!    Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 may apply for reimbursement by October 31, 2017.   All certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. California State Organic Program registration fees are also eligible for refunding...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will vote on the re-listing or removal of 43 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Jacksonville, Florida on October 31 – November 2, 2017.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via https://www.regulations.gov/ using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0024-0001 until October 11, 2017. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through a pre-meeting webinar.   NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on general organic, grower, handler, regulatory

FDA released an informational guide to assist businesses in complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). The guide, “Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: What you Need to Know about the FDA Regulation: Guidance for Industry Small Entity Compliance Guide,” explains FSMA and its rules.    CCOF highly encourages members falling into the small entity category, as defined in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act, to reference the comprehensive guide for questions regarding FSMA requirements.   Chapter...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, September 11, 2017 on business services, directory, marketing

As expected, advertising opportunities for 2018 have been claimed quickly!   We still have ad space left in the 2018 Organic Directory & Resource Guide. Do not miss out on the opportunity to get your information in this highly sought-after publication!   The Organic Directory and Resource Guide reaches all our certified members and Business Partners along with retail buyers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and consumers who seek us out at tradeshows and events to pick up their copies and tell us how beneficial it is to their business. We will distribute 5,000 copies in 2018.   Ad rates will...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 11, 2017 on education, events, general organic, grower, handler


December 13 & 14 - Hyatt Regency MontereyWestern Growers Named Technology Sponsor for the Event With only a few exhibitor booths left, The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s inaugural event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.  To date, OGS has secured over 50 sponsoring companies, with limited exhibitor booths remaining on the trade show floor. Educational...

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