CCOF Blog

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy

One of the greatest challenges facing organic growers today is the uncertainty and severe shortages in the agricultural workforce. For this reason, CCOF is calling on California Congressional leadership to work toward immigration reform that includes the following guiding principles:  First and foremost, legislation should create a viable means for the current unauthorized, experienced agricultural workforce to legally work in U.S. agriculture.   Additionally, a guestworker program could also provide much needed support to help meet the current shortages in the agricultural workforce. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will hold five public licensing workshops in the first quarter of 2018. The workshops are free and open to the public and will provide resources and information regarding state commercial cannabis licensing.    Each workshop will include a brief overview and thorough information from BCC and other state and local agencies regarding cannabis licensing. The workshops will be scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   January 22, 2018 – Monterey   Monterey Conference Center 1 Portola Plaza Monterey, CA 93940   January 25, 2018 – Santa Ana  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal.    The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.   CalCannabis and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) host regular licensing workshops to assist members of the public with the application process. Applicants can also...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, water

In response to public concern about the use of recycled oilfield water (otherwise known as produced water) as an irrigation source in the Central Valley, the regional Water Board assembled a Food Safety Expert Panel in 2016 to assess the safety of crops grown using this source of water.    The Food Safety Expert Panel will meet January 24, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and concluding at 3:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Central Valley Water Board’s Board Room located at 11020 Sun Center Drive, Suite 200, in Rancho Cordova, California.   The public is invited to attend. Opportunity for...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity

California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will meet on January 18. The panel reviews and documents agriculture’s positive impacts to the environment and other agriculture issues.    The meeting will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:   California Farm Bureau Federation 2300 River Plaza Drive, Harvest Room Sacramento, CA 95833   The meeting will also be webcast online for those unable to attend the meeting in person.   The panel’s agenda includes updates on CDFA’s Healthy Soil Program and the State Water Efficiency and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events

California’s new Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18 in Sacramento for the first time in 2018. The committee was formed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to advise the licensing authorities on the development of standards and regulations regarding the best practices and guidelines to protect public health and safety. BCC announced its members last fall.    The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at:   Sacramento Convention Center, Rooms 307 - 310 1400  J Street Sacramento, CA 95814   Those who cannot attend the meeting in person will be able to tune in...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 15, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Kimbark Elementary School San Bernardino, California Kimbark Elementary School students planted a winter garden with crops including broccoli, two types of kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and snap peas. Students learned about organic farming as they noticed aphids and insect larvae on the plants, followed by the ladybugs that were there to eat the other bugs. Students enjoyed making smoothies and salads from the vegetable harvest and found that their own perceptions about healthy food were changing. The students absolutely loved this project. They had a chance to see how easy it is to grow your...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.   Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.   The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions,...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory

New federal food safety regulations are starting to take effect. If you grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce for human consumption you may need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Compliance dates for some produce farms start at the beginning of 2018. Does my farm need to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? The FSMA Produce Safety Rule has different compliance levels based on operation size and type. The CCOF Foundation hosted a How Do I Need to Comply with FSMA? Webinar to help produce growers figure out what compliance level they fall into. The...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation


2% for Organic

Happy to New Year to all members of our organic family: farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers! In seasons like this, we are reminded of the hope a new year or new growing season brings and the effort that lies ahead.    We’re beginning 2018 by giving thanks for all of you who contribute to CCOF’s mission: advancing organic agriculture for a healthy world.    Our CCOF-certified organic members contribute to this mission every day, not just through the healthy food they grow and produce, but also through choosing organic certification. Did you know that each CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

The Carbon Farming Revolution will command front and center attention at the 38th EcoFarm Conference on January 24 through 27 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. Owing to unstable climates, carbon has been getting a bum rap of late, quite undeservedly so. Most of us farmers are unaware that carbon—and its management—is the most critical element in our farming systems, probably because we don’t purchase carbon in a sack like we do N-P-K. Were there a “most friendly atom” award, carbon should be its slam dunk winner. Though it could be different on some other planet...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on

In September 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) received an appropriation of $135 million from Assembly Bill (AB) 134 and AB 109 to reduce agricultural sector emissions. The bills provide funding for agricultural harvesting equipment, heavy-duty trucks, agricultural pump engines, tractors, and other equipment used in agricultural operations.     CARB staff will conduct public workshops in several locations on the development of the Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program Guidelines, which will outline CARB’s recommendations for...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Washington Middle School Salinas, California This year, all the pea plants in the school garden were killed by birds, but birds can be both an asset and hinderance for organic gardeners. While some birds damage crops by eating them, there are many others that help control insect pests that damage crops. Using our school garden as the model for an organic farm, students explored the impact of birds on organic crops through direct observation, data collection, and research into various species’ natural history. Students then researched bird behavior and designed and tested different non-lethal...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, international

In May 2017, Phil LaRocca, chair of the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors, and Allen Harthorn, chair of the CCOF Foundation Board of Trustees, participated in the National Co+Op Grocers’ tour of a cooperatively managed fair trade vineyard in La Rioja, Argentina.    The La Riojana cooperative is working with the National Co+Op Grocers and the CCOF Foundation to help transition their grapes into organic production. LaRocca and Harthorn were brought to tour the facilities and meet with farmers and witness the project firsthand. In addition to making wine and olive oil, La Riojana also built and...

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