Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 4, 2019 on fees, funding, general organic

Rabo AgriFinance has announced a new loan product that can make it more financially viable for farmers to seek organic certification on all or part of their crop operations. With guidance from Pipeline Foods, Rabo AgriFinance has developed a financial framework that gives farmers the flexibility to receive the capital needed for upfront costs associated with changing production practices. Farmers can schedule repayments when they receive the additional revenue from selling certified organic goods.  The USDA requires a three-year transition period for farmers to certify their land as organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 4, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association asked the United States District Court to rule in its favor on its organic livestock welfare lawsuit against the USDA. In its motion for summary judgment, the trade association stated that USDA acted in an unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious way when it killed new organic livestock standards centered around improving animal care and welfare. The Organic Trade Association argued USDA’s blocking of the implementation and rescission of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule in 2018 were actions plainly in excess of lawful authority and, if not...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 28, 2019 on food safety, general organic

Although local food producers are broadly committed to food safety on their operations, there are still some barriers to implementing food safety best practices, according to a needs assessment report released today by National Farmers Union Foundation’s Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC) and Cornell University. The publication is the result of a multi-year, two-tiered effort. It includes findings from a needs assessment survey, which was designed to determine the food safety practices, knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and needs of local producers, with a particular focus on food...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 28, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, grants, water

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), a competitive grant program that incentivizes farmers to invest in irrigation water and energy efficiency. Agricultural operations can apply for up to $100,000 for projects that involve improvements to irrigation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save water. Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant, or weather sensors; micro-irrigation systems; pump retrofits or replacements; renewable energy; and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on general organic, pests and pesticides, research


bagrada_pic

As in past years, Dr. Brian Hogg at USDA’s Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, is seeking research sites for bagrada bug research, and is interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California.  This is the time of year when bagrada bug populations usually start increasing in cole crop fields. High numbers may also be found on weeds, especially shortpod mustard and perennial pepperweed.  Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. Time constraints prevent us from visiting sites more than four hours...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Who: The Sierra Fund warmly invites community members and the interested public to join us alongside multidisciplinary technical experts and creatives for an evening of art at the nexus of science as we work to address legacy impacts of the California Gold Rush.   What: Evening art reception to launch the fifth biannual Reclaiming the Sierra (RTS) Conference being convened by The Sierra Fund. RTS 2019: Headwater Mercury Source Reduction is a conference to catalyze action around a regional strategy to abate the impacts of mercury from the Sierra to the sea.    Why: The 19th century Gold Rush...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on biodiversity, general organic, grants, pests and pesticides

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program (BIFS) and its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions Program, administered by the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis. Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program Grants The goal of BIFS is to fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically-based farming systems that employ IPM strategies. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 12, 2019 on

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is announcing that starting next week, 8,000 “small” and “very small” produce farms throughout California are being mailed educational letters about their roles in upholding the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in 2011 to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks. Accompanying the letters are questionnaires to be returned to the CDFA by August 31 in order to verify commodities grown, determine whether annual sales qualify farms for a PSR exemption, and to help prioritize future...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 29, 2019 on education, events, food safety, general organic

The first of six educational sessions at the third annual Organic Grower Summit (OGS) features a dive into the changing landscape of food safety on organic farms, and how the industry is complying with the new Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule. The session will explore how FDA produce inspections will be rolled out and the changes affecting the leafy greens industry. Together, the six educational sessions will include a range of topics designed to inform and engage organic growers, farmers and producers, and their service and supply chain partners. Farm soil...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on food safety, general organic

¡Produce Safety Alliance se complace en anunciar la disponibilidad de su sitio web y materiales asociados en español! El nuevo sitio web en español es un repositorio de materiales educativos, actualizaciones de la Norma de inocuidad de los productos agrícolas frescos de FSMA, información sobre el instructor e instructor líder de la Alianza y datos de contacto del equipo de la Alianza y sus colaboradores. Con una creciente población doméstica de habla hispana de la fuerza laboral agrícola y un gran volumen de productos importados anualmente de países latinoamericanos sujetos a la Norma de...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on food safety, general organic

The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is very pleased to announce the availability of the PSA website and associated materials in Spanish at es.producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu! The new Spanish language website is a repository for educational materials, FSMA Produce Safety Rule updates, PSA Trainer and Lead Trainer information, and contacts for the PSA team and collaborators. With a growing domestic Spanish-speaking population of the agricultural workforce and a large volume of produce imported annually from Latin American countries subject to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, this website will...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, water

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture is hosting a series of public forums to allow farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders opportunities to provide input on the California’s Water Future. Public Forums on California’s Water Future Redding – Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge 820 Sundial Bridge Drive Redding, CA 96001 Fresno – Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fresno County Farm Bureau 1274 W. Hedges Ave Fresno, CA 93728 State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, marketing, survey

Undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Kindra Fulton is conducting a research project on behalf of the College of Agriculture. The project focuses on promoting California grown specialty crops at trade shows. Fulton was born and raised in Salinas, California with deep ties in and a passion for the agriculture industry.  Fulton has created a five-minute survey and is searching for respondents. The survey is most applicable to individuals in the specialty crop industry who have the knowledge to answer specific questions about their company’s use of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 8, 2019 on education, general organic, grants

Aspiring organic farmers and gardeners are invited to apply for the 2020 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Now in its 52nd year, the apprenticeship is the longest running university-based organic farming training program in the United States. This year’s program will offer a record number of scholarships to participants. The six-month, full-time residential program takes place at the 30-acre organic farm and three-acre Alan Chadwick Garden on the UCSC campus. The apprenticeship blends experiential learning with traditional classroom...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research


Bonterra

As the buzz continues to grow about soil’s dynamic relationship with climate resilience, more and more organic growers are curious about how their farming practices can fit into the widespread push for climate solutions. Bonterra Organic Vineyards, based in Mendocino County, is one of them. In 2017-18, the acclaimed California vintner teamed up with Pacific Agroecology of Davis, California to study how their vineyard management practices affect organic carbon storage in soil and plants. Ultimately, the study measured carbon storage in Bonterra’s regeneratively farmed, organic, and Biodynamic...

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