Blog posts by general organic

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. Learn more.
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Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 23, 2020 on CCOF, crisis reslilience, general organic

California officials issued guidance regarding retail food, beverage, and other service venues. These venues bring people from multiple communities into close contact with each other and have the potential to increase the transmission of COVID-19. “These are aggressive, but necessary actions to protect our communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We all have a role to play when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. These establishments that are remaining open should think creatively about how they can continue to provide services to the community. Shifting operations to focus on...
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 Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 16, 2020 on CCOF, general organic

La oficina de CCOF en Santa Cruz, California, está temporalmente cerrada, con vigencia inmediata. El personal de CCOF seguirá trabajando desde sus hogares.De acuerdo con las recomendaciones de contención y cuarentena de la Enfermedad por Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) y el Departamento de Salud Pública de California, la oficina de CCOF en Santa Cruz, California, se cerrará de inmediato para ayudar a mantener nuestro personal y la comunidad a salvo del COVID-19. El personal trabajará desde casa mientras la oficina física está...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 16, 2020 on CCOF, crisis reslilience, general organic

The CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California is temporarily closed to the public, effective immediately. CCOF staff will still be working from their homes.In line with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment and quarantine recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health, the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California will be closed to the public effective immediately to help keep our staff and community save from COVID-19.  Staff will be working from home while the physical office is closed to the public. Please note that...
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 Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 2, 2020 on CCOF, containers & hydroponics, general organic


The CCOF Board of Directors hosted a special discussion about hydroponic and container-based systems at their quarterly board meeting on February 18.  Background Over the last few years, disagreement has percolated throughout the organic community about hydroponic and container-based systems. Many organic producers feel frustrated that the National Organic Program (NOP) allows hydroponic operations to achieve certification because they believe that soil is essential to any organic production. Others feel that hydroponic systems for some types of crops and locations can be valuable parts of...

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