Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, seeds

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse. Bayer recently announced that it reached a merger agreement with Monsanto, which will create the world's largest supplier in seeds and agricultural chemicals. DuPont and Dow, and ChemChina and Syngenta, have also announced agreements to merge. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) allows these three mega-mergers to move forward, three corporations will sell nearly 60% of the world's seed. This level of concentration will have grave impacts on U.S. agriculture, including organic. We know that consolidation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in OTA’s Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Major topics that are addressed in the survey include production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension barriers; and past Farm Bill evaluation. Each survey is confidential and contains questions specifically focused on producers and handlers. OTA will use this information to help shape its policy priorities for the next Farm Bill. For more information, contact OTA’s Joe Brady...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 19, 2016 on labeling and packaging


As an organic grower, you have worked hard to achieve your organic certification. Don’t you think you should take every opportunity to let your community and customers know that you are CCOF certified? Here are a few easy steps to take to promote your certified status: If you sell through farmers’ markets, remember to display the “CCOF Certified Organic” signage that is made available to you by CCOF. Download the “Non-GMO & More” seal from the CCOF web site and use it in any setting that is already approved for the CCOF seal. Promote “Certified Organic” on all of your labels, cartons,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 19, 2016 on CCOF, events, services

This year, at the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Expo East kick-off dinner and awards event on September 21, the entire meal will be verified organic by CCOF. OTA “strives to always offer organic food at our events,” but decided to take it a step further this year. CCOF worked with them to implement a verification process to ensure their organic menu is compliant with national standards. So what does it mean to be “Verified Organic?” The meal will be verified organic by CCOF. Suppliers, ingredients, and recipes are being vetted to ensure organic status. Dinner menus and event signage have...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 19, 2016 on events, genetic engineering

Hundreds are expected to turn out for a panel session at the upcoming Organic & Non-GMO Forum that will address certified transitional, a new process spearheaded by Kellogg-owned Kashi in which a third party certification company monitors and approves farms that are transitioning from conventional to organic. The 2nd Annual Organic & Non-GMO Forum 2016, to be held November 14-15, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, is the only domestic conference of its kind, bringing together stakeholders across the organic and non-GMO value chain, from production to packaging. The comprehensive...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 22, 2016 on advocacy, policy

Our State Legislature is taking on the future of California’s climate change laws and we need you to weigh in! Will California continue to embrace increased renewable energy production, smart growth that protects our farmland, and sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change? Or will the oil industry prevail and prevent needed solutions to greater weather extremes and rising temperatures? Your calls or emails to your Assemblymember are needed today. Let your representative know you support Senate Bill 32 (D-Pavley), which extends California’s climate change law to the year 2030, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 15, 2016 on pests and pesticides, research


Cole Crops

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service’s efforts to develop a biological control program for the bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is investigating whether any native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. The laboratory is currently looking for organic farms growing cole crops in the Central Valley to include in its survey. Any cole crops will work for the study, although fields with a history of bagrada bug infestation would be ideal. The study involves placing frozen bagrada bug eggs (...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 1, 2016 on

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)'s Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program (MCCP) is preparing to issue state cannabis cultivation licenses beginning in January 2018. They would like to get a sense of how many applicants the state can expect to: Apply for licensure Use the Track and Trace system CDFA would appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete a short survey. Feel free to forward the survey link to others that may not have received it directly. As CDFA moves forward in its program planning process, surveys will be one of the tools MCCP uses to gather...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 25, 2016 on container/hydroponics, 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...

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