Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

It’s time to put organic food on more kids’ plates, and the California legislature may be willing to help. California Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s new bill, AB 958, will create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program. The pilot program will help qualifying school districts purchase organic food, offering up to 15 cents per meal. If successful, the bill will bring more organic food to California’s schools, which is great for the health of our children, a win for climate, and a boost for innovative farming communities growing food without toxic pesticides. California is the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on events, general organic

In celebrating the tradition and innovation of the State’s number one industry, agriculture, the California State Fair Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of the Agricultural Advisory Council, selects Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) as Agriculturalist of the Year.  The Agriculturalist of the Year award is presented to an individual who has contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry. Award criteria stipulates this individual must have demonstrated leadership and clearly represented the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on biodiversity, events, pests and pesticides


Oak Titmouse.N.Uyeda

Oak Titmouse photo by Norman Uyeda Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce four upcoming field days as part of our All Things Avian Series.  Farmers, expand your tool box by adding birds as pest control allies on your farm. Learn how to take advantage of a multitude of beneficial birds that provide pest control services year-round, and to manage the few birds that may become pests later.  Farmer to Farmer Field Days in Northern CaliforniaMarch 19 – Chamberlain Farms, Woodland, CA, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.March 21 – Tres Sabores Vineyard (CCOF-certified), St. Helena, CA...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF.  Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic. During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation. Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Prior to CCOF, Cathy served two terms as...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 25, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety, general organic, research

The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is now taking effect for California farmers. A new survey, funded by the USDA, promises to give a clearer picture of what this means for the industry. Farmers have voiced concerns over the costs and challenges of complying with the Rule since it was first announced. However, there is still too little hard evidence on the true distribution and severity of these challenges. Both farmers and government agencies need concrete statistics on where California farmers stand with respect to the Rule and how much they’...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic


Monarch

California agricultural producers can voluntarily help the monarch butterfly on their farms and ranches through a variety of conservation practices offered by the USDA.  “With the monarch butterfly’s western population in peril, we’re encouraging California producers to make simple tweaks on their farms that can go a long way for this iconic species,” said Carlos Suarez, state conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California. “NRCS offers more than three dozen conservation practices that enable producers to help monarchs and other pollinators as well as...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research, survey


Herbicides in Irrigation Water

Protecting our CCOF-certified organic farm from external herbicide contamination has been an ongoing challenge. For over forty years, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), our local water purveyor, has used herbicides to manage the unlined ditches that bring our irrigation water.We believe the time has come to stop the application of elemental copper- and glyphosate-based herbicides to raw water canals statewide. To this end, we ask to draw on the experience of California’s certified organic farmers to learn more about other irrigation districts throughout the state. Does your water purveyor...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, events, financial assistance, general organic

Over its 20-year history, California FarmLink has developed its focus around three core elements for farm and ranch success: strong business skills, fair financing, and secure land tenure. We’re quick to add that growers benefit from fair and appropriate financing, with an overarching goal of enabling farmers and ranchers to build wealth through short-term profits or acquisition of assets. With our eyes on wealth-building, California FarmLink will enable growers to compare financing options at the Growing Opportunity: Farm Finance Expo on Thursday, February 28 in Clovis, California, the day...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 28, 2019 on labor, survey

The California Farm Bureau Federation, in collaboration with UC Davis, is conducting their third Ag Labor Scarcity survey.The survey will be open through Tuesday, February 5. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. The purpose of the survey is to collect information about how farmers are adapting to reduced farmworker availability, which will be used for a statistical study. The statistical study will be used to inform farmers, leaders, and other interested parties about how these issues are affecting farmers in California.Your responses will remain anonymous, confidential, and will be grouped...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, events, funding, general organic, grower

If you are considering implementing new practices on your farm to promote healthy soils and build resilience, you might be eligible for up to $75,000 in cost-share grants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Climate Smart Agriculture Program is allocating $15 million for Healthy Soils grants for the coming year. Applications are due March 8, 2019.  Help with PaperworkFree assistance with planning and completing the grant application is available. Wild Farm Alliance will assist growers who contact them at info@wildfarmalliance.org. Together with EcoFarm representatives...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on general organic

HarvestPort is excited to announce HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement service with many options for the organic grower community, and we want to earn your business. For a limited time, HarvestPort will reimburse the full cost of your 2018 annual CCOF renewal bill. Check out HarvestPort INPUTS, a full-service crop input procurement program, and HarvestPort DEALS, an opt-in platform (similar to Groupon) with time-sensitive discounts on agricultural products, services, and technology.  Growers looking for a procurement partner to source the right inputs at favorable prices...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CalCAN, events, policy

 The sixth California Climate & Agriculture Summit kicks off on Monday, March 4 with tours of innovative, climate-friendly farms in Yolo County. On Tuesday, March 5, we will convene for a day-long conference followed by a festive evening in celebration of 10 years of advocacy and leadership by the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Join us to: Explore the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California. Network with a diverse group of leading growers, researchers, policymakers, agricultural professionals, and advocates. Engage in a robust...
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...

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