Blog posts by education

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 6, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

Are you looking for new ideas to improve your organic recordkeeping systems? Are you curious about what digital recordkeeping options might be a good fit for your farm? Are you new to organic farming and want to find out more about the records you need to keep for organic certification?  The CCOF Foundation and National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) are here to help! Join us this summer for a series of free webinars on organic recordkeeping for growers. In our Organic Recordkeeping 101 webinar on August 21, Ann Baier from NCAT will review the records required to meet the USDA...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 11, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, grower, handler, help and tips, standards

New U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop insurance programs have expanded risk management options for organic farmers and ranchers. Are you curious to know what programs might be a good fit for your operation?    Join the CCOF Foundation and California FarmLink on June 19 for a webinar that reviews the basics of the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Learn the application requirements and key deadlines for both programs, as well as how the programs meet the needs of organic farmers and ranchers.    Speakers include...
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, May 21, 2018 on CCOF, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower, pests and pesticides

Organic Grower Summit December 12-13, 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center   The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will again serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.    To date, OGS has secured over 45 committed exhibitors and 35 sponsoring companies.   Among participating exhibitors are leaders in the fields of seed, soil amendments, food safety, and ag technology...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 14, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, farmers markets, general organic, organic market


Are your customers confused about what organic means? Order a complimentary batch of the 2018 “Why Buy Certified Organic?” postcards today! The cards include information for consumers about what organic means and why it’s important to buy organic products.   In 2017, Fresno Commons, “a for-profit corporation and non-profit land trust, working to grow vibrant, community-owned local food system in the Fresno and San Joaquin Valley,” ordered cards to include in their CSA boxes to help educate their customers about the benefits of buying organic.    The CCOF Foundation sends thousands of “Why Buy...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 2, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

Applications for the Healthy Soils Program in both the Incentives and Demonstration program areas are due on April 13, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. PDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.   The Healthy Soils Incentives Program provides financial incentives to California farmers and ranchers to implement agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health. Incentive grants are funded for up to $50,000 per grant.   Healthy Soils Demonstration Projects are on-farm demonstration projects that showcase conservation management...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, general organic, research

The Organic Center released new research completed in collaboration with the University of Virginia showing that organic farming can help reduce nitrogen pollution on a global scale. The study found that organic farming helps prevent nitrogen pollution by recycling three times more reactive nitrogen than conventional farming.    The study shows that 93 percent of all nitrogen used to produce conventional food was newly-created reactive nitrogen. In organic foods, only 33 percent of the nitrogen used to produce foods was new reactive nitrogen. The rest of the nitrogen used is recycled. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program provides funding for incentivizing and demonstrating soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health.    The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.   The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of soil health practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. California farmers and ranchers, as well as federally- and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on advocacy, education

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. More than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business, and other areas.   The 17-month program includes approximately 56 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities—California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo;...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...
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 Catherine Hsu on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, education, events


From left to right: Jessy Parr, Assistant Director, CCOF; Jonathan Houser, CCOF grant recipient; Melody Meyer, VP of Policy and Industry Relations, UNFI; Akello Karamoko, CCOF grant recipient; Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards, CCOF Board Chair and OTA Farmer of the Year; Emily Musgrave, Organic Specialist, Driscoll’s At this year’s Annual Natural Products Expo East, CCOF and UNFI gathered supporters to celebrate the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, CCOF Foundation’s program to advance organic agriculture through young organic farmers. At an intimate luncheon at Forno, organic business leaders...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 25, 2017 on education, grower

Results of the newly released 2016 Certified Organic Survey provide numerous indicators of organic’s continuing growth trajectory in the United States.   Organic farms in the United States produced and sold $7.6 billion worth of organic products in 2016, a 23 percent increase from 2015 organic sales. Organic farm numbers increased 11 percent to 14,217 certified organic farms and ranches, and organic acreage grew by 15 percent to 5 million acres.   Once again, California is the top organic state in terms of organic sales, farm numbers, and acreage.  In 2016, California produced 38 percent of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, events, grower, handler

  Organic Grower Summit 2017 December 13-14Hyatt Regency Monterey Costco announced their commitment to participate in the inaugural Organic Grower Summit (OGS) this coming December in Monterey, California. With annual fresh produce sales of $4 billion, Costco will sponsor a half-day event providing certified organic farmers and growers the opportunity to meet with Costco buyers The confirmation of Costco's commitment to meet with organic growers comes on the heels of all exhibit booths for the event being sold out last week.   The first ever OGS, a joint production between CCOF and Organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, financial assistance, general organic, grower

Scholarship applications are now being accepted to attend the 30th annual California Small Farm Conference (CSFC), an educational and networking event for farmers, ranchers, and farmers’ market managers that will be held at the Robert J. Cabral Ag Center in Stockton, California on October 29-30, 2017.    Keynote speakers at the conference will be Carl Rosato and Helen Atthowe and the young couple who succeeded them on Woodleaf Farm, Danny Lazzarini and Andrew Seidman. Other sessions include Creative Financing Strategies for Sustainable Farmland Succession, CSA Resiliency in a Changing...

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