Blog posts by Guest Blogger

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2015 on rating system

Do you sell to Whole Foods? Are you interested in hearing more about and giving feedback on the Whole Foods Market (WFM) Responsibly Grown rating system? WFM is hosting a series of regional meetings around the United States in January, February, and March of 2016 to help growers and shippers understand their Responsibly Grown rating system. This is your chance to meet with the WFM Procurement Team for a discussion about the rating system for produce and flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rating system changes proposed for 2016 and provide feedback and input on the program...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 on marketing, research

As organic researchers, we are very excited about the prospect of organic check-off funds going towards supporting research to help us address U.S. organic farmers’ most pressing needs to increase production of organic food, feed and fiber. For years, we have fought the federal government and our state universities for every organic research dollar. Traditionally, organic research has been woefully underfunded. Unfortunately, this lack of funding has a real impact on organic producers, and translates into a lack of methods and tools useful for current organic farmers and reduced support for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 16, 2015 on member news


The Organic Coup

The Organic Coup, America’s first USDA Certified Organic fast food restaurant, certified by CCOF, opened its first location in Pleasanton, California, on Tuesday, November 10. The restaurant serves only organic options, featuring a crispy chicken sandwich. The Organic Coup was created to progress the organic movement and change the way people think about food. The name is Coup, not Coop, because it was hatched to spark a food revolution in which consumers help to transform the conventional food system. “The inspiration for The Organic Coup came from the lack of convenient clean food available...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 on grower, seeds

For growers producing organic baby leaf crops, the spread of bacterial diseases can be rapid with devastating results. Additionally, harvesting clean, organic, pathogen-free seed is another challenge for both seed producers and growers. Short of discarding the seed or accepting a decline in harvest quality, organic growers have few viable options to recover their crop once it is infected with bacterial diseases. One bacterial disease that has a significant impact on the production of baby leaf vegetable crops is Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata. This bacterium is commonly called bacterial leaf...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 5, 2015 on advocacy, general organic, research

National policies, issues, and institutions affect organic farmers, yet we lack a strong presence to ensure that the certified organic farmer’s viewpoint, needs, and concerns are represented in the national arena. To address this situation, several organic farming organizations have been discussing building a more effective and clearer voice for certified organic farmers. We are proud of certified organic’s growth and growing prominence in the marketplace, and believe now is the time that farmers, who are at the core of this success, establish a focused and strong voice. To ensure we are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, September 25, 2015 on rating system

In July CCOF and Whole Foods Market announced that productive discussions between organic farmers and the retailer would result in adjustments to Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Grown rating system. Read more about this announcement on our blog. Following is a list of the proposed adjustments and a report from Vice President of Procurement – Perishables Edmund LaMacchia on their status. Certified organic produce and flowers will be granted a minimum rating of “Good” until January 1, 2016. No certified organic produce will be labeled as “Unrated.” Done   Whole Foods Market will adjust...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 31, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF encourages growers who implement conservation practices to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS is undertaking a major “reboot” of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which will be implemented at the beginning of 2016. This “reboot” is an important opportunity for farmers to provide feedback to the NRCS. Specifically, CCOF is encouraging the NRCS to make the following improvements to CSP:NRCS should rank existing conservation practices the same as additional conservation practices. NRCS has consistently...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 10, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is continuing to search for feedback from farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).If you have experience with CSP or are interested in the program, please take a few minutes to complete the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSP_Survey_Feedback.This is a busy time of year, and we greatly appreciate any feedback. The results of this survey will help make CSP more accessible to farmers.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national conservation program administered by the USDA’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, July 17, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is seeking the feedback of farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Whether you are currently enrolled in CSP, have enrolled in the past, attempted to apply, or are just thinking about signing up, we want your input! We are looking for information such as personal experience with the program, barriers you have encountered, criticisms or praises, and any other relevant information. Contact Eric Cissna at ecissna@ccof.org to share your experiences.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 on rating system

Today CCOF and Whole Foods Market (WFM) jointly announced new changes to WFM’s Responsibly Grown rating program and its enrollment process for certified organic flower and produce farmers. These changes include allowing current organic vendors to suspend enrollment efforts until the end of this year, immediately relieving pressure for many small and medium sized producers. WFM also announced its intention to positively alter both the scoring and presentation of certified organic products, while committing to expanded dialogue about the program with vendors and other stakeholders. CCOF’s...

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