Blog posts by biodiversity

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 20, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news


Dave

I’ve been to a lot of farms in my day but have never witnessed one so profoundly bent on creating a closed loop symbiotic system as Whisky Hill Farms. This 14-acre CCOF certified organic farm cultivates tropical plants, heirloom vegetables and biorefined high grade commercial alcohol!   I met David Blume, part innovative farmer and part mad scientist on a midsummer day. I had the opportunity to have my mind blown several times that day touring his farm and distillery.  This is the first of a two-part blog which will focus on food waste and Blume Distillation.  No Such thing as wasteBlume...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 23, 2018 on biodiversity, financial assistance, funding

The state of California is offering $57 million in grants to help the food processing industry cut emissions and energy use. “This type of support not only helps the industry reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but it helps the industry remain competitive so jobs associated with food production remain in California,” said California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller in a news release. Food processing is one of largest users of energy in California, according to the California Energy Commission. That use included 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 500...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Greenpeace USA launched a campaign in January 2018 to protect California’s climate and combat the impacts of climate change. As we know, California is a unique state, especially in its important role as a major source of the nation’s food—the food that farmers help bring to our tables every day. The state’s farming community has been highly affected by our changing climate and experiences the negative consequences firsthand, from increased wildfires, mudslides, and smog, to more severe droughts and rising sea levels. Greenpeace understands that we must support our farmers and the agricultural...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, research

Ph.D. student Alejandra Echeverri is working in California’s central coast to understand how strawberry growers and managers of strawberry farming operations perceive birds on the farm.    Specifically, Echeverri hopes to conduct in-person surveys with strawberry growers or managers to understand which practices they are using to attract birds to or deter birds from their farms. She also is interested to find out whether they see some birds as beneficial or pests on their farms.   If you are an organic strawberry grower or a manager of a strawberry farming operation, please consider...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, employment

CCOF members Colin and Karen Archipley are featured in a new documentary titled “The Farm.” The film highlights the Archipleys’ certified organic hydroponic farm Archi’s Acres and their work with veterans enrolled in the Archi’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.   The film follows transitioning military service members as they begin and complete the six-week course on organic agribusiness at Archi’s. The foundation of the program is learning sustainable agribusiness and farming methods and business development through practical and applicable skills.    Over 400 students have graduated...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on biodiversity, events

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is partnering with eOrganic to present a series of nine webinars based on OFRF’s soil health and organic farming educational guides. The first webinar will be May 9, 2018. The series will run through May 2019.   Presented by the guides’ authors Mark Schonbeck and Diana Jerkins, the webinars will cover  Building organic matter for healthy soils Ecological weed management Practical conservation tillage Selecting and managing cover crops Plant genetics Water management and quality Crop nutrient management Organic practices for climate...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on biodiversity, grower, pests and pesticides

Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource.    Many...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Paicines Ranch will host a four-day workshop on how to produce nutrient dense food by improving the health of animals, people, and the planet. The four-day workshop occurs April 12-15, 2018 and will be led by Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association and Spencer Smith of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management.   Tickets for the workshop began at $400 and will increase to $600.    The workshop will focus on soil health and the economic feasibility of farming and ranching including how to apply holistic management to operations. Soil health expert Jill Clapperton of Rhizoterra,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 26, 2018 on biodiversity, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits, universities, and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).   “If we are to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and improve the health of California’s soil, we must do everything we can to help our farmers and ranchers apply to our programs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Leveraging our partnerships with the academic community, nonprofits, and RCDs...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on biodiversity, farm bill, grower, handler

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that U.S. farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial fiscal year (FY) 2018 application for the nation’s largest working lands program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).    Over 72 million acres across the country–roughly 8 percent of all agricultural land–are currently enrolled in whole-farm conservation contracts. The significant amount of working lands already enrolled in CSP, and the fact that in recent years CSP has had to turn away as many as 75 percent of qualified applicants, is evidence...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, research

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.   Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues: Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health...
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 Rachel Witte on Monday, February 22, 2016 on advocacy, biodiversity, NOP, policy

On January 15 of this year, the National Organic Program (NOP) announced the final guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations. The guidance addresses one of the core principles of organic production: conserving natural resources and biodiversity. The USDA organic regulations require certified producers to maintain or improve natural resources on their farms. This guidance provides certifiers and certified producers with examples of production practices that support conservation principles and also comply with the NOP regulations. It also...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, December 18, 2015 on biodiversity, funding, grants, grower

Organic farmers and ranchers can sign up now for technical assistance and funding from two different programs. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to take land out of production and restore it with resource-conserving plant species. The Working Lands for Wildlife program offers funds to restore and protect habitat for greater sage grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Conservation Reserve Program Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is open through February 26, 2016. Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species such...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 9, 2015 on biodiversity, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a draft guidance to clarify biodiversity and natural resources requirements. The Draft Guidance, “Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations,” is open for comment now through February 27, 2015. The National Organic Standards require that certified organic operations “maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.” They define natural resources as the “physical, hydrological, and biological features of a production operation, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands...

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