CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, regulatory, water


Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted requirements for commercial and personal medical use cannabis cultivation. The requirements—the Cannabis Cultivation Policy—aim to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions.    The Cannabis Cultivation Policy is available online. The policy should be referenced by cannabis cultivators who divert surface water to irrigate cannabis or plan to.    Licensed cannabis cultivators must register with the State Water Board under one or two cannabis cultivation regulatory programs. Applications for the State Water Board...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Balboa Middle School Ventura County, California The main objective of Salad Bar Farms is to let the students of Balboa Middle School become active participants in growing the produce that is served at their school during lunch. Over the course of this grant, approximately 600 students (half of the student body) visited the farm. Further, approximately 550 pounds of carrots, lettuce, and green beans from the farm were served at the school's salad bar. An unaccounted amount of produce was directly consumed by students on the farm during their visits. One of our greatest accomplishments was how...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, February 12, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation


Join Darrell Wood from Panorama Meats at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. The event will explore the factors that have made California a hotbed of organic hotspots activity and discuss ways to encourage the growth of organic hotspots across rural America. We will hear the stories of organic leaders who have contributed to economic revitalization through organic in rural areas, and from those who have seen the impacts first-hand on their businesses and communities. For more information and event registration, visit www.ccof.org/2018-event.  ...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


The CCOF team (including our office dogs!) are often clad head to toe in Patagonia gear. Patagonia is a company that we are proud to support given their commitment to using organic materials and food.    Patagonia is also a Visionary member of the CCOF Foundation, which works to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world. With their support, the CCOF Foundation runs a range of programs to support new and existing organic producers and to educate consumers about the importance of organic agriculture.    Patagonia is also a key partner in launching a new initiative: The Roadmap to an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on policy

CCOF applauds the growing bipartisan support for organic agriculture research in both chambers of Congress, including the broad support for organic research from California members of the House.    Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2018. This bill increases federal investment in the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, which funds organic agricultural research throughout the United States.    This bill compliments the House Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436), which has a strong showing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on biodiversity, farm bill, grower, handler

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that U.S. farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial fiscal year (FY) 2018 application for the nation’s largest working lands program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).    Over 72 million acres across the country–roughly 8 percent of all agricultural land–are currently enrolled in whole-farm conservation contracts. The significant amount of working lands already enrolled in CSP, and the fact that in recent years CSP has had to turn away as many as 75 percent of qualified applicants, is evidence...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, employment

The National Farmers Union is accepting applications for the Beginning Farmer Institute. The Beginning Farmer Institute focuses on developing leadership and farm management skills in beginning farmers through small group teaching.    The application form is available for download and applications are accepted until April 30, 2018.   Eligible applicants include those who are currently farming or planning on starting within the next year. Ownership of an operation is not required, and operators of any operation type or size are eligible. The program is open to residents throughout the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


EUSD Farm Lab Encinitas, California All EUSD first graders (over 800 students) visited DREAMS Campus at Farm Lab and rotated through three hands-on lessons that connected them to agriculture and organic crop production. Students learned that it is healthier to use organic production methods and handling standards that are not harmful to water, soil, wildlife, and/or people, and which make the environment safer for bees and birds and for children to play. Students learned about cover crops for building healthy soil, and for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom lesson,...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) President Jamie Johansson and CCOF at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. The event will explore the factors that have made California a hotbed of organic hotspots activity and discuss ways to encourage the growth of organic hotspots across rural America. We will hear the stories of organic leaders who have contributed to economic revitalization through organic in rural areas, and from those who have seen the impacts first-hand on their businesses and communities. Learn...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on advocacy, events


Cannabis

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) started the year with its traditional meeting at the EcoFarm Conference on January 25, 2018.    COPAC advises the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on organic issues.    During the meeting, State Organic Program (SOP) staff announced a new survey that will help inform its future communications work. Organic producers, country agricultural commissioners, consumers, and other stakeholders are encourage to participate.    SOP staff also reviewed upcoming changes to the state registration process that...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, research

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.   Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues: Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on events, general organic


Each year the EcoFarm Conference kicks off with a popular all-day farm bus tour. This year, the tour was titled “Organic Farming On and Near the Hollister Plain” and brought participants to farms and ranches in the Hollister area, including three CCOF-certified operations: Coke Farm, Morris Grassfed, and Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce.   The packed tour began at Coke Farm with Dale and Christine Coke explaining the services they provide to bolster their local community of organic farmers. Coke Farm pioneered organic strawberry growing and spring mixes, and was one of the first CCOF-...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Stillwater Township Elementary SchoolStillwater, New Jersey This spring, our Schoolyard Garden Club will meet once again thanks to the generosity of this program. Students in sixth grade will gather after school, grab their "gardening gear," and walk out to our raised bed garden area. We started with spring plantings, plan to work on purchasing a compost bin for the garden, and will proudly wear our student-designed shirts! Students will create a drip irrigation system using plastic milk jugs placed around the raised beds to help water during our spring break. Our school has secured enough...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). 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. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...

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