Blog posts by Guest Blogger

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, help and tips

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California, Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. “SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 24, 2019 on general organic, research


crimson clover

Farmers around the country are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice. Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by USDA-SARE, looks at the economics of cover crops to help farmers answer that big question: "When do cover crops pay?" The key, says North Dakota farmer Justin Zahradka, who has been planting cover crops since 2011, is to “look at cover crops as an investment rather than a cost.” Download or order Cover Crop Economics now! Print copies will be available...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic

National Center for Appropriate Technology and National Farm to School Network Awarded USDA Cooperative Agreement to Help Producers Market to Schools  The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) are pleased to announce their partnership with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. The goal of the partnership is to help agricultural producers build their capacity to launch or expand efforts to market to schools. Gwen Holcomb, director of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has selected 217 projects for award, totaling approximately $12.48 million in grant requests, through its Healthy Soils Program. This program encourages farmers and ranchers to implement practices that reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, sequester carbon in soils, and improve soil health.“California leads the nation in supporting innovative climate smart agriculture programs that address on-farm challenges and promote agricultural and environmental sustainability,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Soil health is key to agricultural...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey released Friday by the Organic Trade Association. New records were made in both the organic food market and the organic non-food market. Organic food...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 13, 2019 on events, general organic, pests and pesticides

Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce our fourth upcoming field day as part of our All Things Avian Series.  If you want more help with pest control, consider supporting beneficial birds. Learn who these birds are, what they need, and how to provide for them. The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial in the spring and early summer when they feed insects to their nestlings. We’ll also discuss the few bird species that can be pests and how manage them.  We are bringing together farmers who use practices to support beneficial birds, avian researchers who...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2019 on advocacy, farm bill, funding, policy

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 10, 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized this critical conservation program, though existing provisions from the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to apply for this fiscal year. “CSP helps agricultural producers in California take their conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level of conservation stewardship,” said NRCS California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should act quickly...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2019 on advocacy, employment, general organic, survey


farmworkers

Despite taking a variety of steps to alleviate chronic shortages of agricultural employees, California farmers and ranchers continue to report problems in hiring enough people for on-farm jobs. A survey released today shows 56 percent of participating farmers had been unable to hire all the employees they needed at some point during the previous five years. The voluntary survey of 1,071 farmers and ranchers, conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, also indicated worsening problems in the past two years. Of those farmers...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 29, 2019 on CCOF, general organic, policy


2019 Investing in Integrity Award

Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker (center) with 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award winners at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Seattle, Washington. Pictured left to right: Jodi Snyder and Becky Scheifele of Global Organic Alliance, Sam Welsch of One Cert, and Phil LaRocca, Mary Chramiec, and Peter Nell of CCOF. NOP Names Eight 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY AwardeesThe USDA National Organic Program (NOP) honored eight USDA-accredited organic certifiers with a 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award. Federally accredited certifiers are third-party organizations that certify and help...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 29, 2019 on events, general organic

The 2019 Automated Weeder and Thinner Demonstration and Field day will take place on Tuesday, May 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the USDA Spence Research Field Station at 1572 Old Stage Road in Salinas.  Automated technologies are helping fill the gap in the supply of labor that is occurring in the farming community. At this field day, weeders and automated lettuce thinners developed by a number of companies will be demonstrated on lettuce plantings. Both driven and autonomous machines that use a variety of different mechanisms to remove unwanted plants will be available for viewing....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, funding, general organic, research

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $500,000 is available for one- to three-year grants. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in fiscal year 2019. Proposals are due by June 10, 2019.  CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. The proposed projects should augment existing NRCS technical tools (planning, assessment, and/or...

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