Our Organic Hotspot Close to Home: California

Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California
We recently held our annual meeting in Sacramento, California, to discuss the latest topics, trends, and challenges currently testing the world of organic agriculture. The theme was Organic Hotspots: Revitalizing Rural America, drawn from Professor Edward C. Jaenicke’s exciting research about the correlation between organic agricultural activity and economic development. Pennsylvania State University’s Jaenicke and co-author Julia Marasteanu’s research papers reveal exciting discoveries for the economies, communities, and people living near clusters of organic agriculture. The study announces that in areas of high concentrations of organic land, known as organic hotspots, median household incomes increase by an average of $2,000 annually. What’s more, the study also finds that organic hotspots decrease local poverty levels by as much as 1.35 percent. These results are important not only for organic agriculture producers, but for policymakers looking to improve the economic and cultural health of the communities they serve. 

Upon returning to the CCOF headquarters in Santa Cruz, California after the conference, CCOF staff were not ready to let the idea of organic hotspots fade into the background. Our intention is to keep the conversation going, to share this information, and to increase awareness of where there might be an organic hotspot near you! 

Our featured hotspot this week is California. Jennifer Krebs of the CCOF Certification Services, LLC team writes, “Our beloved Golden State sets the gold standard for organic activity, leading the nation with 43 hotspot counties.
“California boasts nearly $3 billion in certified organic commodity sales—38 percent of the U.S. total. California also takes the top spots for total certified organic farms and total certified organic acres, with 2,713 certified farms and 1.1 million acres (21 percent of total U.S. certified organic land).
CCOF Member Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California
“All the organic pistachios and almonds in the nation are produced here in California, as well as nearly all the organic apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, prunes, walnuts, and wine.”
Check our blog for regular updates and more information about organic hotspots across the United States!