Blog posts by Jane Sooby

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, research


Roadmap

 CCOF is excited to release a new contribution to the scientific literature, Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, which distills the findings of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies into a captivating and beautifully illustrated read.  The Benefits Report presents clear evidence that organic agriculture is more than a system of food production; it is a comprehensive approach to solving the issues threatening California’s long-term security and prosperity.  “Organic food production is an opportunity to stimulate the state’s economy, promote public health, and protect...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, funding, general organic

California farmers and ranchers interested in receiving a grant to implement new soil-building practices on their land can receive free application support from technical assistance providers.Resource Conservation Districts and nonprofit organizations throughout the state have signed up to help potential applicants. Some of these technical assistance providers are holding informational workshops on how to apply. See the full list of providers and workshops.There are two different funding opportunities under Healthy Soils:The Healthy Soils Incentives program provides funding to implement...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on food safety, general organic, labeling and packaging, regulatory

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law. In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement. The exemption does not apply to products with less than 70 percent organically produced ingredients. Very small food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers who prepare food on-site are also exempt from the labeling rule. For the purpose of this...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is updating the agricultural order that regulates discharges from irrigated farmland. A comment period is now open with comments due by 8 a.m. on January 22, 2019.   Submit comments to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov and indicate in the subject line “Comments to Ag Order 4.0 Options Tables.” Read the notice of public comment period. The regional water board will accept comments on any topic related to the new version of the ag order. The board specifically requests comments on an “options table” that lays out existing and proposed options for...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 26, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, member news

Lundberg Family Farms has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers, and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states. The award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and California Farm Bureau Federation. Lundberg Family Farms of Butte County will receive a $10...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Quality Control Board is holding a series of stakeholder meetings in Watsonville, Salinas, and Santa Maria next week to update the public on the next version of the region’s agricultural order and to gather public comment. The Central Coast Water Board needs to hear from farmers, particularly organic farmers, about the steps they already take to reduce nitrogen application and protect water quality. The board also needs to hear farmers’ ideas on how to reduce ground and surface water impairment without creating an overly burdensome regulatory structure. Agricultural...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on member news

Amigo Bob is one of the stalwart organizers of the annual EcoFarm conference and a renowned organic farming advisor. He stewards a collection of heirloom perennial fruits—from apples to walnuts—and makes cuttings available through the Felix Gillet Institute. Amigo Bob’s repository of heirloom fruits recently caught the attention of National Geographic, which published a photo essay on the rich genetic diversity he is protecting. The piece focuses on the importance of these locally-adapted species in the face of climate change and increasing drought. 
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A jam-packed agenda awaits members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC), which will convene Wed., Sept. 5, at 10 am in the Wonderful Conference Room at the Jordan Agricultural Research Center, California State University Fresno. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and share their thoughts during the public comment session.  COPAC advises the California secretary of food and agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state. The committee is comprised of 15 primary members plus alternates for each seat.  For the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

A small bill with big impact, AB 2377, has been approved by both houses of the California state legislature this session and will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence before the legislature sends it to the governor’s desk for his signature. Last week CCOF’s policy team sent out an action alert encouraging members in California to call their state senator and request that they vote yes on the bill. Thank you to those who took action. The Technical Assistance for Climate Smart Agriculture bill, AB 2377, will establish a cadre of experts to work with farmers who want to apply for...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 on general organic, pests and pesticides

A blog entry written by Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia, entomologist with Cooperative Extension Monterey County, reports that bagrada bug adults were found on shortpod mustard plants north of Soledad and near King City. While no nymphs or eggs were found, their offspring may be moving into adjacent cole crops soon.    Newly planted or early-stage mustard family crops are most at risk from bagrada bug damage. Dr. Del Pozo-Valdivia encourages PCAs to check crops that fit this description in areas surrounding Soledad and King City.   No bagrada was found earlier this season in the San Ardo area,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 on general organic, policy, standards

CCOF submitted a comment to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on the proposed Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, or GMO food labeling rule. The deadline for comments was July 3, 2018.   CCOF’s comment was rooted in the following principles, for which CCOF advocated in previous comments: Labels must have clear statements that include the term “GMO.” Electronic or digital links are not sufficient to communicate to consumers.  Protect the USDA National Organic Program’s regulations defining bioengineering and related terms.  Organic certification is sufficient to make a “not...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 2, 2018 on advocacy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has convened a Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) to provide input to the OTA Board of Directors and staff on matters pertinent to the advancement of organic agriculture.    CCOF is accepting applications for appointment to the FAC. Applications are due July 13. Under the terms of CCOF and OTA’s strategic partnership, the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors may appoint up to five farmers to FAC.   To apply, contact Jane Sooby at (831) 346-6239. She can help you complete the simple application form.    FAC members must participate in quarterly conference calls....
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 25, 2018 on advocacy, policy

CCOF is accepting applications for appointment to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Farmers Advisory Council (FAC). Applications are due July 13, and CCOF staff can help you complete the simple application.   FAC provides the OTA Board of Directors and staff with critical input from small- and medium-sized organic farmers, ranchers, and growers on matters pertinent to the advancement of organic agriculture, with a specific focus on OTA’s policy agenda.   The CCOF Board of Directors may appoint up to five farmers to FAC under the terms of CCOF and OTA’s strategic partnership. FAC members...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 14, 2018 on general organic

Television celebrity Dr. Oz hosted “the biggest names in the organic food industry” on a recent episode of his show that addressed consumer concerns about organic integrity.   Executive Director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association Laura Batcha was joined by Jill McIntosh of Kroger and Regina Beidler, an organic dairy farmer with the Organic Valley cooperative, to explain the rigor of organic standards and enforcement.   Batcha emphasized that “fraud is very rare in organic” and explained that the organic industry has actually gone to Congress to request additional regulation by USDA...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, pests and pesticides

A recent blog post by Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia, UC Cooperative Extension entomologist based in Salinas, addresses reports he’s received about “red aphids” being found in organic romaine lettuce varieties that are resistant to the lettuce aphid.   Laboratory analysis showed that the “red aphids” were not lettuce aphids, but were actually either potato aphids or foxglove aphids.    Del Pozo-Valdivia’s blog shows pictures of different species of aphids and makes the point that body color is not the best trait to use to identify aphid species because they can change color during their lifespan...

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