Blog posts by Meaghan Donovan

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 18, 2019 on

Curious how other small-scale farmers are addressing food safety on their farms? Check out The Farmers Beet Podcast by Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) and hear stories from farmers around California about their food safety techniques. Listen to episodes that highlight food safety techniques from Live Oak Farm in Petaluma, California, Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California, and other farms around the Golden State.  Learn from farmers as they discuss innovative food safety recordkeeping for composting systems, step-by-step approaches to integrating food safety into...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Have you heard conflicting information about how the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) applies to small produce farmers? Has a buyer asked you to be “FSMA Compliant?” Have you heard contradictory information about food safety from different people? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on November 19 for a webinar that goes over produce growers’ frequently asked questions about FSMA and clears up common myths and misconceptions about small farm food safety.  On-farm food safety is a complicated topic that many small...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 21, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, general organic, help and tips


Join the CCOF Foundation and Kitchen Table Advisors on October 29 for a webinar that dives into farm business planning from a crop profitability perspective.  Build your crop plan with intention and an expectation to maximize your profits. This webinar will help you think about your crop mix’s ability to generate profit for your farm. Our speaker, David Mancera of Kitchen Table Advisors, will review The importance of understanding a crop’s price-volume relationship,When to begin thinking about crop profitability,Information needed to understand crop profitability,An example of enterprise...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

Are you interested in growing organically, but mystified by the organic certification process?  Join the CCOF Foundation on Monday, October 14 for a webinar that will explain the benefits, costs, and steps of the organic certification process for growers who market directly to consumers.  Some local producers grow and sell organic crops to increase their revenue. Other farmers find the USDA organic seal a convenient way to communicate their farm’s commitment to sustainable growing practices to their customers. Our webinar speaker, Rebecca Silver of CCOF Certification Services, will highlight...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, services

Is your produce farm subject to a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspection, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect? Do you have questions about FSMA compliance, but don’t know who to ask?  Join the CCOF Foundation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on September 24 for a webinar that reviews how the FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection process works in California, as well as shares FSMA resources for organic produce growers. CDFA has started its FSMA inspections of produce farms. Produce...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, standards

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections started this year for large produce farms in California and across the United States. Smaller produce farms will be subject to FSMA inspections in coming years.  If you are still wrapping your head around what FSMA means for your produce farm, the CCOF Foundation’s webinar library hosts a thorough collection of FSMA and food safety webinar recordings. Often hosted in collaboration with Community Alliance of Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild, these webinars present food safety in a manner accessible to growers and agricultural professionals. ...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 12, 2019 on

Farmers’ market managers: support your organic farmers by learning more about the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program.Some local producers grow and sell organic products to increase their revenue. These producers may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75% for allowed annual certification costs per scope of certification through the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program.Join the CCOF Foundation and the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets for a webinar on August 27 that highlights the benefits of the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program, as well as reviews...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, July 8, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, general organic

Join the CCOF Foundation and the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets this summer for a series of webinars about organic certification geared specifically for farmers’ market managers.  Our fist webinar—Organic Certification 101 on July 22—will review the basics of organic certification for farms and highlight organic best practices for farmers’ markets. Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms will lead the webinar. Drawing on her knowledge as an organic inspector and nearly two decades of organic farming experience, Collins will answer common questions about organic, including:What is organic?...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, food safety

Confused about what records you are required to keep for compliance with the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? Not sure how those records overlap with what you are already doing for your organic certification? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) for a webinar on June 18 that clearly explains what records are required for produce farms that must fully comply with FSMA and how those records align with USDA National Organic Program recordkeeping requirements.Farms that must fully comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) started its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections of produce farms this spring. Produce farms with more than $500,000 in average annual sales may be contacted by CDFA in 2019 for an inspection to verify the farm’s compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. What to Expect During an InspectionTo help orient growers to the FSMA inspection process, CDFA recently published information on what to expect during an inspection. The CDFA Produce Safety Program inspection procedures webpage includes information on the inspection...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 13, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic


Pathways

Every farmer hopes to own their own property. But with high startup costs and sky-high land prices in places like California, it often doesn't make sense to purchase property before starting your farm business. Join the CCOF Foundation, California FarmLink, and the National Young Farmers Coalition for a webinar on May 21 that will guide you through the key steps in negotiating and composing a lease that has a built-in pathway to ownership.  Learn about different types of lease structures, clauses, tactics that can lead to farm ownership, and how to position yourself financially to be able to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Not sure what the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) means for your small or medium-sized organic farm? Join the CCOF Foundation and Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on March 27 for a webinar that clarifies the basic FSMA requirements for small and medium-sized produce farms.  Produce farms in California are subject to FSMA inspections by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Even if your farm qualifies for an exemption from FSMA, you still need to keep records to prove that you qualify for the exemption. A FSMA inspector may request...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Tickets for the CCOF Foundation food safety workshops in Pacific Grove, CA are going fast. While our workshop in English has sold out, there is still space left in our Spanish food safety workshop. Hosted on January 23 in conjunction with the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, the workshop meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, tickets cost only $35. Don’t miss the January 15 deadline to purchase tickets!You do not need to attend the entire EcoFarm conference to attend the...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Join the CCOF Foundation on January 23, 2019 in Pacific Grove, California for the final trainings in our FSMA food safety workshop series. The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish and meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person.  Our January trainings are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm conference. You do not need to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, grower


It’s time again for the CCOF Foundation’s annual tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market!   If you are looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California, join us on November 29 in San Francisco for one of our most popular events of the year. Tour participants will visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.  This tour sells out early, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF...

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