Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, financial assistance, grants

Win up to $10,000 for your farm  Local produce distributors, in partnership with PRO*ACT, are inviting qualifying farms to apply for Cultivating Change Grants to pay for certification costs, marketing, infrastructure projects, and capacity building. With a total of $85,000 available for farms looking to fund new and innovative projects, these grants seek to promote a culture of sustainability in the fresh food supply chain by encouraging innovation and environmentalism to local farms nationwide.   2017 winner Arizona Microgreens used their $5,000 grant for a germination chamber, optimizing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 6, 2019! Make your commitment now to maximize the return on your sponsorship. This can't-miss event is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists, and businesses come together to enjoy an organic feast and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming. Your sponsorship supports the critical work of The Organic Center and it...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Myra & Drew with Earthbound Truck

Earthbound Farm founders Myra and Drew Goodman were fresh out of college when they decided to move to the Salinas Valley. With the intention of taking a year off before entering the “real” world, Myra and Drew agreed to clean up the farm on which they lived in exchange for free rent.  The Goodmans were shocked to discover that part of maintaining the farm was adhering to a strict chemical spray schedule to keep the raspberries free of pests. They saw this and thought, “This is how our food is made?”  When Myra and Drew realized that the fruits and vegetables they eat were being treated with...
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 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 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 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 Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on general organic, research

As part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is seeking sites for bagrada bug research.  We would be interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California. Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are currently infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. We are investigating whether native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. We would put out frozen bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 20, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news


Dave

I’ve been to a lot of farms in my day but have never witnessed one so profoundly bent on creating a closed loop symbiotic system as Whisky Hill Farms. This 14-acre CCOF certified organic farm cultivates tropical plants, heirloom vegetables and biorefined high grade commercial alcohol!   I met David Blume, part innovative farmer and part mad scientist on a midsummer day. I had the opportunity to have my mind blown several times that day touring his farm and distillery.  This is the first of a two-part blog which will focus on food waste and Blume Distillation.  No Such thing as wasteBlume...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy


State Board President Don Cameron, left, next to Governor Brown and CDFA Secreatary Karen Ross. Other meeting attendees included Rob Yraceburu, Wonderful Orchards LLC; Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Familiy Wines; David Ahlem, Hilmar Cheese Company; Dan Sumner, UC Ag Issues Center; Mike Gallo, Joseph Gallo Farms; Aaron Lange, Lange Twins; Jonathan Hoff, Monte Vista Farming; Frank Muller, Muller Ranch; Rayne Thompson, Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company and Paul Wenger, Wenger Ranch. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and State Board of Food and Agriculture President Don Cameron joined a group of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 23, 2018 on biodiversity, financial assistance, funding

The state of California is offering $57 million in grants to help the food processing industry cut emissions and energy use. “This type of support not only helps the industry reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but it helps the industry remain competitive so jobs associated with food production remain in California,” said California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller in a news release. Food processing is one of largest users of energy in California, according to the California Energy Commission. That use included 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 500...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Greenpeace USA launched a campaign in January 2018 to protect California’s climate and combat the impacts of climate change. As we know, California is a unique state, especially in its important role as a major source of the nation’s food—the food that farmers help bring to our tables every day. The state’s farming community has been highly affected by our changing climate and experiences the negative consequences firsthand, from increased wildfires, mudslides, and smog, to more severe droughts and rising sea levels. Greenpeace understands that we must support our farmers and the agricultural...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 11, 2018 on general organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture.   To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire is June 15, 2018.   Farmers and ranchers who have not responded by June 15, 2018, still have until the end of July to complete the Census online through the secure website found on the cover of their Census form. Phone follow-up and personal interviews will also continue through July.   The questionnaire needs to be completed by...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 11, 2018 on CCOF, directory, general organic, marketing, services

Wondering if there are any organic farms near you? Want to find out who is growing a specific crop or making a specific product? We have a tool for that!   Our online Organic Directory is a great resource for finding organic businesses by location, specific organic crops or products, and services for organic businesses. Visit the Organic Directory and fill in your search criteria on the left, then browse all the CCOF-certified organic businesses who meet that criteria to find what you need.   You can also purchase a printed copy of the Organic Directory & Resource Guide, which is a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on general organic, inspection, regulatory

In 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin conducting Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections on produce farms. In preparation for these inspections, CDFA is offering practice FSMA inspections, which CDFA refers to as On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs). Read the blog post below for more information.   While an OFRR is a practice inspection, it is important to note that CDFA inspectors are still required to report egregious food safety conditions that could lead to a public health issue if not immediately corrected. If an egregious condition is found...

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