Blog posts by Shawna Rodgers

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, July 29, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Frey Vineyards 2019_katrina-frey

“We are lucky to be alive, and to still be in business,” says Katrina Frey, executive director of Frey Vineyards. Almost two years ago, Frey Vineyards fell victim to the 2017 California wildfires, the costliest in the state’s history, with over $9 billion dollars combined in damages claimed and property destroyed.  The fires took down Frey Vineyard’s historic redwood offices, tasting room, bottling line, wine library cellar, barns, machine repair shop, and storage sheds. “Our friendly herd of goats perished,” along with “many chickens and some pets who couldn’t be found during the emergency...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation


The Organic Coup SF Giants

“We really visualized this as a takeover. Our opposition was the fast food industry. … It’s like a modern-day David and Goliath…We’re all part of this dream.” – Dennis Hoover, Co-Founder of the Organic Coup Since James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold in Coloma, California in 1848, Northern California has evolved into a place of rapid growth, development, and change. For every technological advancement born here, there have been equally important scientific discoveries regarding the benefits of organic agricultural practices. There has never been a better time in human history to create, to...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Bonterra Barn_Photo Credit Sara Matthews Photography

Photo courtesy Sara MatthewsLast December 2018, the CCOF Foundation hosted its largest-ever benefit dinner, with nearly 250 of CCOF’s closest friends and supporters coming together in Monterey, California. The dinner, part of the larger Organic Grower Summit co-hosted by CCOF and the Organic Produce Network, aimed to draw awareness to the programs of the CCOF Foundation, and to bring together a group of like-minded individuals to celebrate the students, teachers, and donors who make the work of the CCOF Foundation possible. There were also some fantastic adult beverages available to those...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, policy


California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force.  CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 4, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, general organic


Earl Herrick, Robert Lichtenberg, Sovita Sau and Jeff Flowers Tomatero Farm Tour

If you take a glance at the “Who We Are” page of the Earl’s Organic Produce website, you’ll see countless references to Earl’s commitment to maintaining partnerships in organic. “Cultivating enduring partnerships,” connecting “those who produce and consume organic food,” and “creating mutually beneficial, meaningful, and committed relationships across the food chain,” are but a few highlights that reveal the culture of community that interweaves all operations at this San Francisco-based company. CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are grateful to be amongst those partners.   For many years, Earl’s...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


FAFO

Join us at the Annual CCOF Foundation Awards Feast to celebrate our 2019 Organic Champion, Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO). FAFO is the largest organic-focused and farmer-funded grant program in the United States. The fund is a means for dairy cooperative Organic Valley farmers to support long-term, sustainable solutions to the problems facing organic. One of the biggest threats to the industry is an aging population of organic producers, and one of the solutions is to inspire and educate the next generation of producers who will assume the responsibility of land stewardship. To address...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, funding


John Taylor

Photo: John Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Brothers Farms While prunes may not be #trending the way we’ve seen kale, sweet potatoes, or açai trend in recent years, prunes have reclaimed their status as a superfood in farmers’ markets across the globe. Prunes provide countless benefits for their consumers. With more antioxidants than blueberries, prunes slow and prevent aging; help your cells recover from oxidative stress (think: work deadlines); and may even prevent diabetes, obesity, and bone loss. Prunes are full of your body’s much needed vitamins and minerals, and they also help maintain a...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Travis Forgues

Organic Valley’s Vice President of Farmer Affairs Travis Forgues will join us on December 12 as the keynote speaker of the CCOF Foundation’s “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California. All proceeds of the dinner benefit the CCOF Foundation.  As a young man with degrees in computer science and psychology, Forgues could have very easily taken his professional career off the farm and into cyberspace with one click of a mouse.   Instead, Forgues and his wife Amy chose to stick with real mice, tending to their herd of happy cows that graze their family’s...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, October 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

The CCOF Foundation offers grants to students and teachers of organic agriculture across the country. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has granted over half a million dollars, impacting more than 30,000 students and teachers of organic agriculture. This year, one of the Fund’s newest supporters is Blue Marble Brands, joining CCOF’s mission all the way from Providence, Rhode Island.   Last fall, Blue Marble supported CCOF through its Plant the Seed: Eat. Learn. Grow Organic retail promotion, created to help educate consumers about the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund and its...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


Sophia Soctt 3

In partnership with the Organic Produce Network, the CCOF Foundation is hosting its annual "We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit, December 12, 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center.  In addition to comments and speeches from organic industry leaders and Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient Rhyne Cureton, this year’s dinner marks the first at which live music will accompany the 100% organic menu.   Sophia Scott, budding country music artist, has confirmed she will join the CCOF Foundation as its honored musical guest for the “We Are Organic” Dinner.   Musical guest Scott’...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 10, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic


For all the philanthropic work Arnott and Kathleen Duncan do, it may surprise you to learn that they are farmers first and nonprofit professionals second. For nearly three decades, the Duncans have worked to educate the next generation of agriculture professionals. From offering educational farm tours in the past, to providing support for current employees and their families via Duncan Family Farms University, offering an Education Assistance Program for their employees, and even hosting a book drive that provided books to students in communities where they are rooted, Duncan Family Farms...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


The CCOF Foundation supports students and teachers of organic agriculture across the United States. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has distributed over $500,000, impacting over 33,000 teachers and students. Our support for the next generation of organic producers is made possible by the generous support of our partners. One of our partners, Organic Valley, has supported the CCOF Foundation since 2014.  Organic Valley and CCOF have similar histories. CCOF began 45 years ago, when six farmers in the Santa Cruz, California area realized action needed to be taken to protect the...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, July 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Haleigh Jones

Photo: Haleigh Jones, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant recipient You may have heard of the CCOF Foundation or our Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund or Organic Training Institute. You can support these programs by donating to the CCOF Foundation!  Your support of the CCOF Foundation can help you make an impact in the future of organic.  By donating to the CCOF Foundation, you will support our education and hardship assistance grants, technical assistance trainings, educational programs and events, and consumer education initiatives. Your Foundation...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, July 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Photo Credit: Brianna Vereker Discretion Brewing, much like California Certified Organic Farmers, was founded around a kitchen table. Unlike CCOF’s first members who dreamt of creating an organic certification system, Rob, Kathleen, Lars, Brianna, and Dustin of Discretion Brewing dreamt of creating a business for their family to own and run together.  Discretion Brewing understands the power of beer to connect friends, family, and community members. In our fast-paced lives, it’s refreshing to find a business that encourages us to slow down and connect. Connect with us on Monday, August 6,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 14, 2018 on farmers markets, general organic


Urban development of agricultural land is one of the biggest obstacles facing future farmers. Agriculture professionals found property much easier to find 20 years ago, when farmland was abundant, but today, as less agricultural land becomes available, the high cost of limited supply scares away budding potential farmers. One of the hardest parts of getting an organic farming business up and running now is not cost of labor, lack of consumers, or inability to find wholesale buyers for crops: it’s finding a place to start planting. Fortunately, Spade & Plow Organics was able to secure...

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