Blog posts by CCOF Foundation

Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, handler

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join CCOF at the Organic Hotspots conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   The Organic Hotspot study recently conducted by Penn State Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke demonstrated conclusively that median household incomes increase and poverty rates decrease as a direct result of organic food and crop production by county, especially when organic businesses exist in clusters, or “hotspots.”   The conference will feature keynote speaker Glenda...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance

Each year, the CCOF Foundation offers direct financial assistance for organic producers who experience loss due to hardship via the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. These hardships include natural disasters such as flood, freeze, fire, drought, and invasive pests, and personal emergencies. Since the Fund’s inception in 2007, the CCOF Foundation has distributed $129,438 to 159 organic producers.    2017 was extremely challenging for agricultural producers across the United States. The hurricanes that struck Florida and Texas and the wildfires in California had a tremendous impact on organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Sierra Madre Elementary School Sierra Madre, California Students created an organic enriched garden studying soil composition and composting methods. They collected scraps from the cafeteria to compost into rich soil. In addition, they incorporated other organic material to enrich the soil organically. Students also learned the importance of giving back to the environment and creating healthy environments. This program supported healthy eating by learning good nutrition habits. For 51 percent of the children, this was the first time they worked with soil and understood that dirt is not soil...
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 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 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 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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Pleasant Hill Elementary SchoolDesoto County, Mississippi The best part of our “Field of Dreams…Vermicomposting Project” was that students got to see how excited members of our community were to help them. Elected city officials, employees, and local business owners all expressed their excitement that we were working to turn waste into garden gold. Not only do we have our vermicomposting project from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund and California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Look at Agriculture... Organically!” grant, but the city of Olive Branch also brought us enough...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Pacific Elementary SchoolDavenport, California This March, we planted seven apple trees and one persimmon tree with transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, fifth, and sixth grade classes all taking part in the process. In November, we had CCOF board members visit for lunch and visit with our fifth and sixth grade classes. We purchased two citrus trees, fencing, irrigation and received a donated avocado tree. Our eventual goal is to have students harvest fruit for our student’s meal and snack program. Thank you to Pacific Elementary School for sharing your organic project!...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers

Lokelani Intermediate SchoolKihei, Hawaii At the start of the semester, when I asked my students to describe what the word “organic” means, most couldn’t do so. Many students were familiar with the word, mentioning that their parents purchase organic products like milk and eggs. Amazingly though, they couldn’t really explain what the label organic meant and/or the benefits it offered. By participating in these three different hands on projects—vermiculture, companion planting, and aquaponics—my students’ understanding of organic agriculture has greatly improved. Each project in its own way...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund - Direct Financial Assistance for Organic Producers   We are concerned about our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and fires in California, not to mention the numerous other natural disasters in last year. CCOF responds to crises such as these each year by offering financial assistance to organic producers. If you—or an organic professional you know—has experienced hardship during the 2017 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance from the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. CCOF is...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic

Joshua Dransfield’s (2016 and 2017 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient) family farm was recently featured in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. The Dransfields run Windsprings Farm, a small organic dairy in Gapmills, West Virginia. With the assistance of Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, the Dransfield family started their transition to organic four years ago. The years of transition were challenging for the Dransfields. Organic feed was hard to source in the area and the amount of time it takes to get certified required time and resources. Thanks to support from other organic dairy...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Jessica Grathwoh Boonville   I began my aquaponics Supervised Agricultural Experience for my agriscience project in August 2016. Currently, I have a 30-gallon tank with 20 goldfish, one flood table with clay pellets, and 78 lettuce heads planted. I plan to expand to using two flood tables, doubling the amount of fish, and testing which varieties of lettuce grow the best and the fastest. After my experiment concludes in April 2017, I will continue to grow different items for my family's use and for sale. Because aquaponics is gaining in popularity due to its organic properties, I see this...

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