Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, events

Please be informed that the next public meeting of the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will take place on March 15, 2018, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. in the California Department of Food and Agriculture main auditorium.    The agenda has been posted to the following website in accordance with Bagley-Keen requirements.     Additional meeting information will be posted to the same website as they become available.   ***   The mission of the CDFA Office of Environmental Farming & Innovation is to serve California by supporting agricultural production and incentivizing practices...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on advocacy, education

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. More than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business, and other areas.   The 17-month program includes approximately 56 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities—California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo;...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 26, 2018 on biodiversity, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits, universities, and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).   “If we are to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and improve the health of California’s soil, we must do everything we can to help our farmers and ranchers apply to our programs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Leveraging our partnerships with the academic community, nonprofits, and RCDs...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

Judith Redmond introduces Dave Runsten at 38th annual EcoFarm Conference   At the 38th annual EcoFarm Conference in late January, we were thrilled to see Dave Runsten, policy director at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), receive a Steward of Sustainable Agriculture (“Sustie”) award. According to the Ecological Farming Association, the award honors “those special people who have been actively and critically involved in ecologically sustainable agriculture and who have demonstrated their long term, significant contributions to the well-being of agriculture and the planet.”  ...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on biodiversity, farm bill, grower, handler

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that U.S. farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial fiscal year (FY) 2018 application for the nation’s largest working lands program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).    Over 72 million acres across the country–roughly 8 percent of all agricultural land–are currently enrolled in whole-farm conservation contracts. The significant amount of working lands already enrolled in CSP, and the fact that in recent years CSP has had to turn away as many as 75 percent of qualified applicants, is evidence...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 29, 2018 on policy, regulatory

California is the leading agricultural state in the country, and we are proud of the products that are grown and produced here. The laws and regulations that are in place protect consumers, producers, handlers, processors, and retailers by establishing standards for agricultural products and foods that are labeled and/or sold as organic.   The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is always seeking effective and efficient ways to protect and promote growth of the organic industry. That means continuously reviewing regulations to ensure they align...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 22, 2018 on financial assistance, help and tips

Farmers and ranchers are independent and resilient, and their relationships with creditors are often long-term and critical for the future of their businesses. When markets, weather, or other conditions create farm losses, the resulting financial challenges can be difficult to untangle. If you face challenges repaying farm bills and debt, the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) can help. CALAMP works with farmers to develop a feasible plan to move forward. A short illustrated video shows the ag credit mediation process in action.   What Can CALMAP Help With? The United States...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 22, 2018 on events

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to let you know about an exciting new undertaking featuring organic farmers, NRCS employees, and other conservationists that is being rolled out next week at the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar on January 24-27, 2018. If you are planning to attend the conference, please stop by and visit with us at our booth, and consider joining us for one or both of these two special events:    Poster Reception Following Keynote Wednesday, January 24, 9:00 p.m., Nautilus and Triton RoomsTickets can be purchased onsite for $50, and include an all-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

The Carbon Farming Revolution will command front and center attention at the 38th EcoFarm Conference on January 24 through 27 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. Owing to unstable climates, carbon has been getting a bum rap of late, quite undeservedly so. Most of us farmers are unaware that carbon—and its management—is the most critical element in our farming systems, probably because we don’t purchase carbon in a sack like we do N-P-K. Were there a “most friendly atom” award, carbon should be its slam dunk winner. Though it could be different on some other planet...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on

In September 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) received an appropriation of $135 million from Assembly Bill (AB) 134 and AB 109 to reduce agricultural sector emissions. The bills provide funding for agricultural harvesting equipment, heavy-duty trucks, agricultural pump engines, tractors, and other equipment used in agricultural operations.     CARB staff will conduct public workshops in several locations on the development of the Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program Guidelines, which will outline CARB’s recommendations for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, international

In May 2017, Phil LaRocca, chair of the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors, and Allen Harthorn, chair of the CCOF Foundation Board of Trustees, participated in the National Co+Op Grocers’ tour of a cooperatively managed fair trade vineyard in La Rioja, Argentina.    The La Riojana cooperative is working with the National Co+Op Grocers and the CCOF Foundation to help transition their grapes into organic production. LaRocca and Harthorn were brought to tour the facilities and meet with farmers and witness the project firsthand. In addition to making wine and olive oil, La Riojana also built and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

Crop producers who attend the 2018 EcoFarm Conference in January are in for an abundance of relevant subject matter to help with crop planning, plant and soil nutrition, and other production and marketing subjects. We’ve highlighted few choices to get you started.   Organic Flower Production will open up a whole new realm for growers looking to diversify from vegetables or who enjoy being surrounded by beautiful blooms. Flowers are not only gorgeous and satisfying to produce, but they preserve biological diversity for pollinators and insects who feed on nectar and pollen. They are a great...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on food safety, general organic, international, organic market, research

Asia is showing some of the highest growth in the global organic food market. New research by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) shows that some Asian countries’ markets are reporting double-digit growth rates, with regional sales poised to reach $10 billion in the coming years.    As will be shown at the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit, two of the fastest growing markets for organic products are in China and India. Growing awareness of organic production methods and rising disposable incomes are fueling demand for organic and sustainable foods.     Concerns...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events

Following the success of the previous seven editions, Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor) is announcing the agenda of the North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit. Taking place in San Francisco on January 30 and 31, 2018, the executive summit will feature sessions on the health impacts of sustainable foods, food ingredients, and organic and eco-labels.   The two-day summit will bring together leading organizations involved in eco-labels and sustainability in the regional food industry. There are four distinct sessions that will cover the following topics:...

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