Blog posts by general organic

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 15, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Does your farm still need a supervisor to take a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA)-approved workshop that meets the FSMA training requirement for produce growers? If so, join the CCOF Foundation in Santa Rosa on November 7 and check the training off your list. Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees. During the day-long workshop, trainers will cover...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on general organic, policy

In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1459 into law. S.B. 1459 allows the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division to immediately create provisional cannabis cultivation licenses as a bridge between temporary and annual cultivation licenses. A provisional license will effectively be the same as an annual license but will not be renewable.  To qualify for a provisional commercial cannabis cultivation license, an applicant must:– Hold or have held a temporary cannabis cultivation license for the same premises and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, import and export, policy

Organic seed producers and companies making out-of-state sales may be impacted by the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The decision allows states to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state. Some states have begun requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax on purchases, while others are setting or have set effective implementation dates.  Each state is implementing different criteria for taxable sales: some require sales tax if the seller...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 15, 2018 on biodiversity, education, events, general organic

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Hedgerows Unlimited will host a workshop to demonstrate how to plant hedgerows and to outline their benefits on November 10, 2018, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.   Hedgerows provide habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators, serve as windbreaks and visual barriers, sequester carbon, and protect against soil erosion. Beneficial insects attracted by hedgerows can reduce pests and sometimes increase crop and forage growth and yield.  Hedgerows also can produce crops, such as lavender, persimmon, nuts, and/or flowers.   The free workshop and planting...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, NOSB, policy

CCOF is committed to helping producers attend National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings by providing scholarships to cover the costs of travel and lodging.  Scholarships are currently available for the upcoming NOSB meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018.  To apply for the scholarship, please complete and submit the application to pnell@ccof.org by Friday, October 12, 2018. At their fall meeting, NOSB will vote to relist the 2020 Sunset Review materials to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB reviews all substances on the National...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton, a 2018 CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient, has joined the agenda of speakers for the 2018 “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit on December 12 in Monterey, California. Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. At an early age, Cureton realized a great disconnect between modern agricultural practices and nature. Later at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (a land-grant university),...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on education, events, general organic, policy, water

The California State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on the proposed updates to the state cannabis water regulations. The State Water Board is proposing updates to the “Cannabis Cultivation Policy – Principles and Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation,” “Cannabis Cultivation Policy Staff Report,” and the “General Waste Discharge Requirements and Wavier of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities (Cannabis Cultivation General Order).” Written comments will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

In early October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1409 into law. SB 1409 removes barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp, increase access to hemp seed, and more.  CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because it would expand hemp production in California and open the possibility for organic certification of California hemp. The authorized hemp pilot program would align with the National Organic Program (NOP...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Assembly Bill 2377, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today. This bill funds technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture. “As California continues to lead the way in climate change, it’s imperative that we assist all industries so that they adopt practices that will help achieve our climate goals,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “I’m grateful that the governor saw the need to improve these programs as a vital piece of hitting our climate objectives.” California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, standards


Ask Me About What's Not in Organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week that lists hundreds of chemicals and processes used in conventional food production that are prohibited in organic. The list includes the use of GMOs, glyphosate, sewage sludge, artificial preservatives, irradiation, and more.  The ad is in response to the Wall Street Journal running an opinion editorial making false claims about organic. CCOF board member and certified organic farmer Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics submitted a letter to the editor responding to the claims made in the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, September 17, 2018 on food safety, general organic, inspection

Organic producers are busy and have a lot going on, especially during harvest. Overlapping regulations and requirements for a modern farm and all the inspections that result have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue.” Since the inception of CCOF’s food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined food safety and organic inspection to reduce the amount of time these inspections take them away from what they love to do: work their farms.  CCOF, an organization that is governed by a board of organic producers, heard you loud and clear. We began cross-training GlobalG.A.P...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

CCOF joined with 27 diverse organizations to request that the Senate and House agriculture committee leadership include provisions supporting urban agriculture in the 2018 Farm Bill. CCOF supports expanding resources for farmers, and urban agriculture is a growing sector that increases opportunities for local organic foods in metropolitan areas. The letter notes that expanding support for urban agriculture will create economic opportunities and inspire a new generation of young and beginning farmers.  The letter requests that the farm bill require USDA create the Office of Urban Agriculture...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 10, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic


For all the philanthropic work Arnott and Kathleen Duncan do, it may surprise you to learn that they are farmers first and nonprofit professionals second. For nearly three decades, the Duncans have worked to educate the next generation of agriculture professionals. From offering educational farm tours in the past, to providing support for current employees and their families via Duncan Family Farms University, offering an Education Assistance Program for their employees, and even hosting a book drive that provided books to students in communities where they are rooted, Duncan Family Farms...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news

I was lucky enough visit Whisky Hill Farms and Blume Distillation this summer. I was blown away by the scope of this 14-acre certified organic farm. Not only are they the largest producer of domestic Turmeric, but they provide answers to the food waste dilemma by producing high grade commercial alcohol. I soon learned that everything that comes from the distillery goes right back into the farm! This is the second of a two-part blog focused on food waste.   Composting in place After learning about the distillery, we came upon a prodigious mound of traditional looking compost, but this one held...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

A small bill with big impact, AB 2377, has been approved by both houses of the California state legislature this session and will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence before the legislature sends it to the governor’s desk for his signature. Last week CCOF’s policy team sent out an action alert encouraging members in California to call their state senator and request that they vote yes on the bill. Thank you to those who took action. The Technical Assistance for Climate Smart Agriculture bill, AB 2377, will establish a cadre of experts to work with farmers who want to apply for...

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