Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, NOP, policy


Farm Bill

In late December, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. Crucially, the farm bill includes provisions to authorize and fund the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), and other organic programs. CCOF and our members worked hard to build support for organic priorities in the farm bill throughout 2018. The 2014 Farm Bill expired in September 2018 without a replacement bill. However, Congress successfully pushed for the passage of the farm bill during the lame-duck session, the period after elections but before the new...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, funding


John Taylor

Photo: John Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Brothers Farms While prunes may not be #trending the way we’ve seen kale, sweet potatoes, or açai trend in recent years, prunes have reclaimed their status as a superfood in farmers’ markets across the globe. Prunes provide countless benefits for their consumers. With more antioxidants than blueberries, prunes slow and prevent aging; help your cells recover from oxidative stress (think: work deadlines); and may even prevent diabetes, obesity, and bone loss. Prunes are full of your body’s much needed vitamins and minerals, and they also help maintain a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, events, funding, general organic, grower

If you are considering implementing new practices on your farm to promote healthy soils and build resilience, you might be eligible for up to $75,000 in cost-share grants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Climate Smart Agriculture Program is allocating $15 million for Healthy Soils grants for the coming year. Applications are due March 8, 2019.  Help with PaperworkFree assistance with planning and completing the grant application is available. Wild Farm Alliance will assist growers who contact them at info@wildfarmalliance.org. Together with EcoFarm representatives...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Tickets for the CCOF Foundation food safety workshops in Pacific Grove, CA are going fast. While our workshop in English has sold out, there is still space left in our Spanish food safety workshop. Hosted on January 23 in conjunction with the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, the workshop meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, tickets cost only $35. Don’t miss the January 15 deadline to purchase tickets!You do not need to attend the entire EcoFarm conference to attend the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is updating the agricultural order that regulates discharges from irrigated farmland. A comment period is now open with comments due by 8 a.m. on January 22, 2019.   Submit comments to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov and indicate in the subject line “Comments to Ag Order 4.0 Options Tables.” Read the notice of public comment period. The regional water board will accept comments on any topic related to the new version of the ag order. The board specifically requests comments on an “options table” that lays out existing and proposed options for...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Join the CCOF Foundation on January 23, 2019 in Pacific Grove, California for the final trainings in our FSMA food safety workshop series. The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish and meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person.  Our January trainings are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm conference. You do not need to...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association for the organic community in North America. OTA has a crucial presence in Washington D.C. and is influential in the development of federal organic policies. OTA’s members work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect farming practices and to share the benefits of organic with consumers, media, and policymakers. Working together with OTA allows CCOF to join with other farmers, processors, handlers, and stakeholders to advocate nationally for the organic principles we all...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, member news

Peterson Family Farms and Three Sisters Organic are featured farmers in a new television documentary series called “Beyond the Harvest.” The series explores the farm to table phenomenon and highlights businesses in California’s Central Valley.  The series will air for 13 weeks in Fresno, Chico, Redding, and Bakersfield. Episodes will also be released online. The broadcast schedule is available online. The first episode of the series highlights Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms. The series’ host Ray O’Canto explores the Peterson Family Farms orchards and packing facility following...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 26, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, member news

Lundberg Family Farms has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers, and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states. The award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and California Farm Bureau Federation. Lundberg Family Farms of Butte County will receive a $10...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Quality Control Board is holding a series of stakeholder meetings in Watsonville, Salinas, and Santa Maria next week to update the public on the next version of the region’s agricultural order and to gather public comment. The Central Coast Water Board needs to hear from farmers, particularly organic farmers, about the steps they already take to reduce nitrogen application and protect water quality. The board also needs to hear farmers’ ideas on how to reduce ground and surface water impairment without creating an overly burdensome regulatory structure. Agricultural...

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