Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 25, 2016 on NOSB, regulatory

In September of 2015, the National Organic Program appointed 16 members to a task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with the USDA organic regulations. The task force was charged with preparing a report to inform the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) as it determines the best path forward on hydroponic and aquaponic production systems. The NOSB is a federal advisory committee whose 15 members represent the entire organic community. NOSB members recommend whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 11, 2016 on funding

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making air quality funds available to help agricultural producers improve and maintain air quality within designated nonattainment areas of California. Funding for the National Air Quality Initiative (NAQI) is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Producers interested in participating in this initiative are encouraged to get their applications in soon. EQIP applications are accepted year-round, but interested producers need to be ready by July 29, 2016 to be considered for this year’s funding. To be ready...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 on cost share, fees, financial assistance, funding

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $2,180,870 for organic certification assistance to organic operations in California. Funds from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program are available through CDFA’s State Organic Program (SOP) to help more organic operations succeed and take advantage of economic opportunities in this growing market. Cost Share helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75 percent or $750 of their certification fees. Cost Share funds are available to any eligible...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 27, 2016 on advocacy, genetic engineering, labeling and packaging, policy

For years, the Organic Trade Association has supported efforts to bring federal mandatory GMO labeling to the United States. Senators Roberts and Stabenow have introduced a federal labeling bill that not only requires disclosure of GMO ingredients, but also includes important provisions that are excellent for organic farmers and food makers – and for the millions of consumers who choose organic every day - because they recognize, unequivocally, that USDA Certified Organic products qualify for non-GMO claims in the market place. Those provisions safeguard USDA certified organic as the gold...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 27, 2016 on member news

Wendell J. Lundberg, the second eldest of four brothers who built Lundberg Family Farms, a national leader in organic rice and whole grain products, died on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at Enloe Hospital in Chico, CA. He was 85 years old. Wendell J. Lundberg was born August 17, 1930 in Holdridge, Nebraska to Albert and Frances Lundberg. In 1937, Wendell and brothers Eldon, Homer and Harlan moved with their parents to Richvale, California. After graduating from Biggs High School in 1948, Wendell attended UC Davis, where he completed a two-year course in agronomy. At Davis he was a founding member of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 20, 2016 on

After more than 40 years of hands-on experience, advice, and instruction, Amigo Bob is a go-to resource for many of the world's leading organic farmers. Which is why it is with especially heavy hearts that we report that this extraordinary man, who has given his life to chemical-free farming, is now facing the grim realities of treating Stage Four HPV-related neck cancer. Amigo needs our help. Here's the scoop: With the support of his loving partner Jennifer, Amigo has been working to address his cancer for the past several years using alternative and less invasive therapies in hopes of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on funding, grower

On May 13, 2016, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups. “Organic farming already provides many environmental benefits, including improved soil health and water quality,” said Greg Fogel, Senior Policy Specialist with NSAC. “The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 23, 2016 on grower, livestock, research

The growing numbers of small-scale farms (SSFs)1 and peri-urban and urban animal agriculture farms (UA)2 has increased the need for Extension specialists and veterinarians focused on small-scale and backyard livestock production. We are seeking your help in this needs assessment regarding animal health concerns on SSFs and UA in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. This study is led by Dr. Alda Pires (University of California), Dr. Dale Moore (Washington State University), and Dr. Ragan Adams (Colorado State University). The increasing popularity of local food production and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 16, 2016 on general organic

Are you a California farmer, rancher, or forester committed to sound environmental stewardship? Know someone who is? Sustainable Conservation, Sand County Foundation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation are seeking nominees for the 2016 California Leopold Conservation Award. Download the nomination form. The deadline for nominations is July 8. The award recognizes private landowners' commitment to responsible environmental stewardship and land management. It underscores the fact that many private landowners are on the front lines of conservation and should be recognized for protecting...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 9, 2016 on NOSB

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations to fill five vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a federal advisory committee whose 15 members represent the entire organic sector and whose recommendations are an important part of the organic standards development process. Appointees will serve a five-year term of office beginning January 24, 2017. Vacancies for the 15-member board include: an organic producer who owns or operates an organic operation, an organic handler or processor who owns or operates an organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 1, 2016 on funding, grants

The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in Spring 2016. Projects that will be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Some examples of sustainability projects may include (but are not limited to) planting of cover crops to help with water...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, January 15, 2016 on CCOF, NOSB


You could call Zea Sonnabend a fixture of the organic movement if she didn’t move around so much—Zea just can’t resist getting involved. Time and time again, she’s been in a small meeting where a volunteer was needed to carry on the work and she felt the urge to step up. Collaborative, sharp, determined to do the right thing with organic, and known for her tenacity, Zea also knows how to relax as a San Francisco Giants season ticket holder. Perhaps it’s team loyalty that keeps her tied to organic strategizing. Take CCOF, for example. Before there was even an office and organic farmers...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2016 on marketing, research

The newly published research titled, “Organic Producer Perspectives on California State Mandated Marketing Programs and Implications for a Federal Organic Promotion Order”, examines the role of government mandated marketing programs in promoting certified organic produce in California. The two researchers, Tina Cosentino and Gregory Baker, set out to document organic growers’ perspectives on agricultural marketing programs in California and to evaluate the benefit of those programs. This research is timely as the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is conducting a multi-year national effort to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2016 on research, seeds


University of California Davis and Organic Seed Alliance are working to develop new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and dry beans specifically suited to the needs of organic farmers in California. In order to develop these varieties, the Organic Seed Alliance needs your help to understand your specific organic production needs and have developed a survey to gather your suggestions. The results of this survey will help direct this substantial organic breeding effort for the next several years. If tomatoes, peppers, or beans are important to your farm, please consider taking 15 minutes to...
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...

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