Blog posts by advocacy

CCOF staff are working remotely and the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California is temporarily closed to the public to help keep our staff and community safe from COVID-19. Response times may be slower than usual. We are still accepting new applications. Learn more.
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Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, March 30, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, policy

As communities come together to build resilience in this deeply challenging time, CCOF is compiling resources that support our members and the organic community. Visit our Crisis Resilience Resources webpage for links to helpful resources for organic businesses. Check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this page with new resources as we learn about them.  We are working with partners, allies, and other organizations to gather useful information for the community. You can help by sharing links to additional resources by emailing policy@ccof.org.  Share with us how COVID-19 has impacted you...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 30, 2020 on advocacy, financial assistance, funding, general organic, producer

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides grants, capped at $100,000, for over 25 practices that boost soil health. Eligible practices include cover crops, compost application, prescribed grazing, planting of hedgerows, mulch, reduced tillage, and more. For the full list of eligible practices, see the CDFA Request for Grant Applications.  The Healthy Soils Program has been streamlined and it’s now easier and less time-consuming to apply. There is a record amount of funding this year—a total of more than $25 million— and we expect a drop in funding next year so it’s a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and the other NOSB agenda items.  The National Organic Program recently announced that the spring 2020 meeting will be held remotely. CCOF will share more details as they are announced.  The following substances are up for review for re-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic


OTA Farmstead Membership

Join us in our efforts to promote and protect organic agriculture! CCOF members may be eligible for the $50 Farmstead Membership in the Organic Trade Association. Farmstead Members have direct access to Organic Trade Association resources and full voting rights. The Farmstead Membership is reserved for reserved for small organic farmers with annual organic sales less than $250,000 who are also current members of one of the organizations affiliated with our Farmers Advisory Council, including CCOF. As a Farmstead Member, you provide a critical voice in helping to advance national policy...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


Photo cred Tommy Martino_Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

Tommy Martino, Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle (left) on the Grain by Grain book tour 2019. As an organic farmer at home in Montana of over 30 years, I see firsthand the bounty created from tending to the land in an organic manner. Butterflies, bees, ladybugs, birds, and countless other creatures are drawn to the land tended organically. Those who work on the soil every day can feel its soft, supple nature underneath their boots. The palpable feeling of health and vitality pouring out of an organic farm is unmatched. That said, there is also science to stand behind the claim that organic is a more...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, general organic

Transitioning more land to organic production is key to tackling some of the major issues facing us today. Organic farming helps build climate change resilience, fosters economic security, and improves health inequities. As part of a broader effort to increase organic farming, CCOF has partnered with Anheuser Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support for farmers during the critical phase of transitioning to organic.  Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and needed that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Arlington, Virginia April 29-May 1, 2020. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Virginia. The board will be discussing many topics at the meeting, including Sunset Reviews, materials petitions, discussion documents, and proposals.  The NOSB will host two webinars on April 21, 2020 and April 23, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 3, 2020. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, water

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is announcing one vacancy on the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP). The panel advises the secretary on the implementation of the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, and also assists federal, state, and local government agencies, as appropriate or necessary, on issues relating to the impact of agricultural practices on air, water, and wildlife habitat.  According to statute, the Secretary of CDFA shall appoint five of the nine EFA SAP members. Members of the panel shall...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, general organic


Transition

It’s not always easy to transition to certified organic, and we don’t expect farmers to do it alone. That’s why we’ve partnered with Anheuser Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide $5,000 grants for farmers transitioning to organic. The CCOF Foundation also offers a wealth of educational opportunities through our Organic Training Institute. Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and needed that final incentive to get certified. Now is your chance to lessen the financial challenge of...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

On February 26, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), an ambitious piece of legislation that proposes a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. agriculture by 2040. The bill focuses on policy goals in the following six areas: increasing research, improving soil health, protecting existing farmland, supporting pasture-based livestock systems, boosting investments in on-farm energy initiatives, and reducing food waste. Specific targets in the plan include cutting emissions from ruminant livestock by at least half, restoring half of the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap

Healthy Soils Program Requests for Applications Released Acknowledging the many benefits of improved soil quality, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) initiated the Healthy Soils Program in 2017, which offers grants to farmers and ranchers to implement new soil-building practices on their land. CDFA recently opened the Healthy Soils Program for 2020 applications. Applications for the Incentives Program will be accepted on a rolling basis until 5 p.m. PT on June 26, 2020, or until available funds are expended, whichever comes first. Applications for Demonstration Projects...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on April 29 – May 1, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0095 until April 3, 2020. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. Members of the board will use comments provided by the organic community to review and vote on...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, research

Organic researchers need your help in identifying the challenges that certified organic producers and transitioning organic producers face. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), and the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) created surveys that will help set their research priorities.  Certified organic farmers and ranchers can take the organic survey here:https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/organicproduction/ Farmers and ranchers who are transitioning to organic certification can take the transition survey here:https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, March 2, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic

Don’t miss your chance to join CCOF and OATS at one of our Organic Malt Barley Farmer Meetings and learn about organic production, the transition process, organic barley, and how Anheuser-Busch’s Contract for Change program can work for you. Everyone is welcome, whether you currently grow barley or are just starting to consider adding it to your rotation. Contract for Change initiative supports Idaho barley farmers who try organic production for the first time, providing price support through transition and a reliable market for the crop. At each of these meetings we will talk about:Organic...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, March 2, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, research


Roadmap

The Roadmap to an Organic California: Policy Report is the next installment of a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges.  Tackling climate change, economic challenges, and health inequities can feel daunting, but our Roadmap offers nearly 40 policy recommendations to grow organic to combat climate change and build healthier, more secure communities.  To help us create our bold vision for California’s future, we combed through over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies that show the economic, environmental, and social...

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