Blog posts by help and tips

CCOF is continuing our services with our staff working safely from home. Although response times may be slower, we are here to support you. We welcome new applications to join the CCOF-certified family. Visit our Crisis Resilience page for updates and crisis resilience resources.
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Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, help and tips, marketing

We changed the date of our Innovative Direct Marketing Webinar for farmers. The new date for the webinar broadcast is May 26, 2020. Innovative direct marketing can keep your farm business viable in fast changing times. Join Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms on for a webinar on tools to increase your farm’s customer base and your revenue.  Collins, a long-time organic farmer and savvy marketing coach, will highlight techniques she’s used to draw in customers and maintain her business in an ever-changing market.  Learn how she quickly adapted her marketing to address COVID-19 restrictions by...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, help and tips, marketing, survey

Farmers are currently facing unprecedented challenges as supply chains quickly and radically change. Our local food systems can be strengthened by building consumer awareness of local farms using sustainable growing practices. Healthy PlanEat is a new online platform for farmers using sustainable growing practices to sell directly to local customers so people can have a healthy and sustainable diet. The platform enables farmers to create their own page, upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders from individuals and wholesale buyers. The platform will be launched...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, general organic, help and tips


Direct Marketing

Innovative direct marketing can keep your farm business viable in fast changing times. Join Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms on April 28 for a webinar on tools to increase your farm’s customer base and your revenue.  Collins, a long-time organic farmer and savvy marketing coach, will highlight techniques she’s used to draw in customers and maintain her business in an ever-changing market.  Learn how she quickly adapted her marketing to address COVID-19 restrictions by reestablishing her CSA and modifying her approach to farmers’ markets. In this webinar, Collins will share things to think...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 6, 2020 on biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, drought, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Join the CCOF Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) on January 14 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time for a webinar that reviews techniques for managing soil and irrigation during times of drought. Find out how to use your water resource most efficiently and hear about managing soil for best water absorption and storage. This webinar is very timely in the context of both the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and preparing for climate change and drought conditions. The webinar will cover the important considerations of irrigation scheduling...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Join the CCOF Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) for a webinar on December 10 that provides a practical introduction to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), a crop insurance option for diversified organic farms and ranches. In this webinar you will learn what information you need to apply for WFRP, assess if this crop insurance product is right for your farming operation, and learn how the documentation you keep for organic certification can support your application. Crop insurance is just one of many tools to manage the risks of an organic farming business...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Have you heard conflicting information about how the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) applies to small produce farmers? Has a buyer asked you to be “FSMA Compliant?” Have you heard contradictory information about food safety from different people? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on November 19 for a webinar that goes over produce growers’ frequently asked questions about FSMA and clears up common myths and misconceptions about small farm food safety.  On-farm food safety is a complicated topic that many small...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 21, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, general organic, help and tips


Join the CCOF Foundation and Kitchen Table Advisors on October 29 for a webinar that dives into farm business planning from a crop profitability perspective.  Build your crop plan with intention and an expectation to maximize your profits. This webinar will help you think about your crop mix’s ability to generate profit for your farm. Our speaker, David Mancera of Kitchen Table Advisors, will review The importance of understanding a crop’s price-volume relationship,When to begin thinking about crop profitability,Information needed to understand crop profitability,An example of enterprise...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, drought, financial assistance, general organic, help and tips

Enrollment for the USDA Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) began on September 11, 2019. More than $3 billion is available for producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Producers in 29 California counties are eligible for relief, including prevented planting payments for those unable to plant eligible crops in 2019. Crops that qualify for federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage are eligible for the WHIP+ program.  Consult the list of counties eligible for 2018 and/or 2019 relief. Read more about program eligibility...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, help and tips

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California, Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. “SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) designed an online training center to provide professional development and continuing education training for organic certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and professionals. The Organic Integrity Learning Center will focus on serving professionals involved in compliance and enforcement roles in organic control systems.  The NOP will debut the system in a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. Stakeholders can connect to the town hall two ways: Dial in by Phone Toll-free (United States & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code:...
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 Monday, January 22, 2018 on financial assistance, help and tips

Farmers and ranchers are independent and resilient, and their relationships with creditors are often long-term and critical for the future of their businesses. When markets, weather, or other conditions create farm losses, the resulting financial challenges can be difficult to untangle. If you face challenges repaying farm bills and debt, the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) can help. CALAMP works with farmers to develop a feasible plan to move forward. A short illustrated video shows the ag credit mediation process in action.   What Can CALMAP Help With? The United States...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on fees, help and tips

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released a comprehensive guidebook to aid farmers with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans. The illustrated guidebook, Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, is available for free online or in hard copy for $15. NYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They support practices and policies to sustain young, independent, and prosperous farmers now and in the future. The guidebook, created with the help of FSA, includes a wide array of information that covers FSA’s...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 16, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, help and tips

Free organic grower guides offer information on specialty crop production for small- and medium-scale growers     A new series of technical guides developed at UC Santa Cruz targets small- and medium-scale organic specialty crop growers with the production information they need to be successful.   The 4- to 12-page guides developed by UCSC’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) address high-value vegetable and cut flower crops grown by many small- and medium-scale farmers. The guides outline basic techniques for tillage, planting, irrigation, weed control, harvesting...

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