Blog posts by Guest Blogger

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Awe Sum Organics is an importer of organic produce from growers in the Southern Hemisphere. We specialize in the import of apples, kiwifruit, pears, grapes, citrus, and blueberries from countries such as New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Awe Sum Organics has been owned and operated in Santa Cruz, California since our founding in 1985.    Company President David Posner began selling organic produce at the inception of the organic movement, and since then Awe Sum Organics has been instrumental in establishing supply channels with organic produce growers in the Southern Hemisphere. As Awe...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, research

Ph.D. student Alejandra Echeverri is working in California’s central coast to understand how strawberry growers and managers of strawberry farming operations perceive birds on the farm.    Specifically, Echeverri hopes to conduct in-person surveys with strawberry growers or managers to understand which practices they are using to attract birds to or deter birds from their farms. She also is interested to find out whether they see some birds as beneficial or pests on their farms.   If you are an organic strawberry grower or a manager of a strawberry farming operation, please consider...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 21, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are cornerstones of Wild Roots Market. Back in the 1990s, our owners and management team realized that if we wanted to continue to provide our customers with the most wholesome, organic, and locally sourced foods available, we needed to partner with CCOF. CCOF’s commitment to the organic movement and certification services allowed Wild Roots (formerly New Leaf) to become the first certified organic retailer in the United States in the year 2000.    By providing input on the organic standards adopted by the USDA and by certifying farmers, suppliers, and retailers...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 21, 2018 on CCOF, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower, pests and pesticides

Organic Grower Summit December 12-13, 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center   The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will again serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.    To date, OGS has secured over 45 committed exhibitors and 35 sponsoring companies.   Among participating exhibitors are leaders in the fields of seed, soil amendments, food safety, and ag technology...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 2800 Gateway Oaks in Sacramento from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Thomas Osborn, (916) 900-5210, thomas.osborn@cdfa.ca.gov.   Before there were USDA organic regulations, the forward-looking state of California passed its own organic regulations in 1990. Today, California is the only state in the country with its own State Organic Program (SOP) that provides enforcement and regulatory activities within the state, much like the National Organic Program (NOP) does for the rest of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on biodiversity, grower, pests and pesticides

Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource.    Many...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Applications are officially open for the CCOF Foundation’s 2018 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in the K-8 and higher education categories! We receive hundreds of applications each year from qualified candidates across the United States. Our work would not be possible without the support of companies like Chino Valley Ranchers. Read about why they support the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Chino Valley Ranchers is a third-generation family-owned and operated egg producer headquartered in Southern California. We provide a full line of fresh shell eggs with 100 percent of our production...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The Community Water Center (CWC)/El Centro Comunitario por el Agua just released a new report: "Untapped Opportunity: Local Water Boards and the Fight for Water Justice."   The report found that in the southern San Joaquin Valley, fully 87 percent of local water board seats were uncontested in the most recent election—that’s almost 500 local seats. When only one candidate runs for a seat, the seat does not appear on a ballot, and the election does not take place. In Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, 75 of 109 local water boards studied have not held a single election in the last four...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on general organic

In an unprecedented move, the nation's first 100 percent certified organic fast food chain shakes up the industry with unrivaled ingredient transparency.   Fast food restaurant chain The Organic Coup, the nation’s first 100 percent certified organic chain, is once again upending the industry.    On April 9, the company will begin rolling out complete ingredient labels that will be placed directly on their food packaging. While many restaurants across the nation refuse to provide ingredient information—citing proprietary reasons—The Organic Coup is making the unprecedented move to spearhead...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


My interest in organic agriculture comes from a very personal place in my life. I grew up in a rural farming village in Nepal where my family practiced subsistence farming. As a kid, I watched my mother struggle constantly with the challenges of producing enough food to feed our family. Since then, I have come to understand the inherent link between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty and how they affect the lives of women like my mother. As I dove deeper into this concept, it became clear to me that a more holistic approach to agriculture is a necessity rather than a luxury....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Clif Bar Family Foundation gives to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund because we believe that organic agriculture is an answer to many issues to which our world currently needs solutions. It supports family farms and contributes to a more secure food future. It reduces harmful chemicals from our everyday lives and protects farmworkers from exposure to those chemicals. It supports better soil health, increases access to healthy food, and increases the carbon sequestering needed to mitigate climate change.    The average working farmer in the United States is nearing retirement age. It’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 26, 2018 on events, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will host seven public workshops throughout California starting on March 27. CDFA will provide guidance on how to complete the annual cannabis cultivation license application, including information on business-entity structure documentation, bond forms, criminal history, fees, local-authorization documents, and diagram requirements.    The workshops will be in an open-house format to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions about their individual applications. CalCannabis will be...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Melody Meyer

  I have been honored to be the executive director for the UNFI Foundation since its inception in 2012. Early on, my board asked me how we could bring together likeminded foundations to make a larger impact in our priority areas together as a community.    I began holding monthly calls with other funders who supported organic agriculture, and we all coalesced around the idea of fostering new organic farmers. We were concerned that the average age of the U.S. farmer was over 65, and we knew that organic farming provided a clear path to prosperity.   When Cathy Calfo from the CCOF Foundation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on general organic, grower, research

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from all the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture—of all farmers and ranchers across the country—NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring.    NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering necessary end-of-year documents. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used...

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