Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association wants its day in court. The association on Wednesday requested that oral arguments be heard on its lawsuit against the USDA over the department's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards. The request comes as the case is gaining significant momentum and as more organic businesses and stakeholders take action and speak out in support of the lawsuit.   Since the filing of the lawsuit, a host of organic stakeholders representing thousands of organic farming families, organic certifiers, and organic policymakers—along with leading animal welfare and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on general organic, 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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program provides funding for incentivizing and demonstrating soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health.    The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.   The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of soil health practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. California farmers and ranchers, as well as federally- and...
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...

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