CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on materials, materials and inputs, NOSB

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the renewal of 17 substances to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) as part of the 2018 Sunset Review process. Notably, USDA renewed carrageenan to the National List, which the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) had recommended for removal. NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. NOSB considers public comment and any new information pertaining to the substance’s impact on...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing establishing a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California.    The establishment will be subject to producer approval by referendum. Two-thirds of the eligible producers or producers representing two-thirds of the milk produced in California will need to vote in favor of the FMMO for the FMMO to be established.  AMS hosted a public meeting on April 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, California to explain and answer questions relating to the California...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A group of certified organic farmers and CCOF staff met with United States Representative David Valadao when he was in Hanford during the Congressional spring recess.    President of CCOF’s Fresno-Tulare chapter Dwayne Cardoza joined with fellow organic growers Ted Loewen, Jim Parsons, and Steve Beck to talk with Valadao about how the Organic Certification Cost Share Program is important, particularly for newly transitioned organic farmers and small- to mid-scale farmers in California who must pay state registration fees as well as organic certification fees. The need for organic data...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 9, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


A plant and animal lover by nature, Renee Zavas grew up in Northern California surrounded by animals. Her interaction with animal during her upbringing ranged from raising pigs for 4-H, to helping her dad with their emus and horses.    Zavas moved to Santa Cruz to attend college and was lucky enough to enroll in Cabrillo College’s associate degree program for horticulture, where her passion for plants grew and she began to have a better understanding of the importance of organic farming techniques and the need for education on food justice and sovereignty.   Today, Zavas is finishing her...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 2, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

Applications for the Healthy Soils Program in both the Incentives and Demonstration program areas are due on April 13, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. PDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.   The Healthy Soils Incentives Program provides financial incentives to California farmers and ranchers to implement agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health. Incentive grants are funded for up to $50,000 per grant.   Healthy Soils Demonstration Projects are on-farm demonstration projects that showcase conservation management...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Clif Bar Family Foundation gives to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund because we believe that organic agriculture is an answer to many issues to which our world currently needs solutions. It supports family farms and contributes to a more secure food future. It reduces harmful chemicals from our everyday lives and protects farmworkers from exposure to those chemicals. It supports better soil health, increases access to healthy food, and increases the carbon sequestering needed to mitigate climate change.    The average working farmer in the United States is nearing retirement age. It’s...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on general organic, international, Japan, trade

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is accepting applications for an agribusiness trade mission to Japan on June 11-15, 2018. Applications are due April 13, 2018.    CCOF encourages members exporting to or interested in exporting to Japan to apply.    The trade mission will provide American exporters with the opportunity to learn about Japan’s strict product regulations and Japanese consumer trends. Japan is an importer-dependent economy and U.S. exporters are the county’s top supplier of food and agricultural products. FAS’ Japan Exporter Guide reports further details on U.S. trade to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Paicines Ranch will host a four-day workshop on how to produce nutrient dense food by improving the health of animals, people, and the planet. The four-day workshop occurs April 12-15, 2018 and will be led by Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association and Spencer Smith of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management.   Tickets for the workshop began at $400 and will increase to $600.    The workshop will focus on soil health and the economic feasibility of farming and ranching including how to apply holistic management to operations. Soil health expert Jill Clapperton of Rhizoterra,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF, general organic, research


Photo Courtesy of Mycological Natural Products   An organic hotspot is defined as a county with high levels of organic agricultural activity whose neighboring counties also have a high level of organic activity. In a recent Pennsylvania State University study, agricultural economist Professor Edward Jaenicke released his findings that organic hotspots increase median household income by over $2,000 annually while simultaneously decreasing local poverty rates by as much as 1.35 percent. Professor Jaenicke shared his discoveries at our CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference last month, but the CCOF...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sarah Spear comes from the big sky state of Montana. She is very passionate about sustainable and organic agriculture. Coming from an agricultural background, Spear can honestly say her upbringing has played a larger role in her interest of sustainable production practices. Spear is in her senior year at Montana State University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in sustainable food and bioenergy- agroecology. After completing her studies at MSU, Spear plans to contribute to the agricultural field by owning and/or managing an organic farm.     Congratulations Sarah!   Please join...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, policy

Last week, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) took action to support his organic constituents when he signed on as a cosponsor of H.R.3871, the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act.    20 CCOF-certified members signed a letter urging Congressman LaMalfa to support H.R.3871 because it would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.    CCOF applauds Congressman LaMalfa’s support for organic priorities and his continued...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

With fewer young people going into agriculture, many agricultural experts and sector leaders are concerned about the future of American farming. New organic farmers and entrepreneurs are needed to meet the demand for organic products that are healthy for both people and the planet. The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund helps grow the next generation of farmers by providing financial support for organic education from kindergarten through college! As of March 22, 2018, the CCOF Foundation is grateful and excited to welcome the following new supporters of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Tucson are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items.    Crop Scope Substances Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol Sodium carbonate peroxyhdrate  Newspaper or other recycled paper  Plastic mulch and covers  Aqueous potassium silicate  Elemental sulfur Lime sulfur...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 26, 2018 on events, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will host seven public workshops throughout California starting on March 27. CDFA will provide guidance on how to complete the annual cannabis cultivation license application, including information on business-entity structure documentation, bond forms, criminal history, fees, local-authorization documents, and diagram requirements.    The workshops will be in an open-house format to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions about their individual applications. CalCannabis will be...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Hailey Hughes is a senior at Michigan State University studying sustainable and organic horticulture. Hughes is passionate about the health of our land, ecosystems and communities. Like many young farmers today, she does not come from a farming background. Instead, Hughes is going to school, working on farms, and doing her own research. In the summer of 2016, Hughes worked her first season at Providence Organic Farm in northern Michigan and fell in love with farming.    Eventually, she hopes to open her own small organic diversified vegetable farm using a CSA and farmers’ market model. Hughes...

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