Blog posts by Shawna Rodgers

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 10, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Harvester

Longtime CCOF Foundation Visionary-level donor Driscoll’s is headquartered in Watsonville, California. Driscoll’s employs farm professionals from all over the world. Those based in Watsonville, like Zenaida and Hector, spend their days growing berries.Zenaida and Hector tell their story through Driscoll’s YouTube channel, where they share a typical day in the field. Motivated by economic opportunity for their children and Zenaida’s parents, who reside in Mexico, Zenaida discusses the duality of her career. She also describes the calm, peace, and sense of working in harmony with nature that...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 26, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Organic Valley

While some outliers still exist, most of America’s farmers have smartphones. As modern technology continues to advance, increased smartphone adoption in rural farming communities brings new opportunities to apply emerging technologies that assist farmers with planning crop calendars, managing employee time cards, and tracking input applications, all in the palm of your hand. While this causes worry for some who would rather keep things simple and data-free, it also provides an unprecedented chance for farmers to tell their stories directly to their audiences. Organic Valley is one such...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 19, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program, grower


Lehia Apana

In a recent interview, Lehia Apana, multi-year Future Organic Farmer grant recipient and co-founder of Polipoli Farms on Maui, Hawaii, recalled her struggle identifying as an organic farmer. Despite using agroforestry and applying organic methods on the farm for many years, Apana speaks of having imposter syndrome and wondering when she and co-founder Brad Bayless could call themselves farmers. Their journey is not unlike that of other young farmers across the United States or even of young professionals in the first five years of their careers. The learning curve is steep, especially in...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 5, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, roadmap


Fishpeople

It’s been one year since Patagonia released its film, Fishpeople: Lives Transformed by the Sea. While it may not seem directly related to organic agriculture, the health of oceans is inextricably linked to the health of the soil.CCOF Foundation Visionary-level donor and outspoken environmental steward Patagonia has a mission to save our home planet. The company's fair and sustainable sourcing practices, their consistent support of environmental nonprofits across the globe, and the powerful platform where they share their values have attracted a loyal audience to Patagonia. Within the last...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 29, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Cal-Organic

We recently learned a few facts from Zach Wortiska, organic seed manager for Cal-Organic. Via the Instagram story feature, CCOF Foundation Visionary supporter Cal-Organic hosts a series called In the Fields with Zach, wherein Wortiska discusses the benefits of organic agriculture, especially the nutritional benefits. For those wanting to learn more, much of this information is available and cited in the CCOF Foundation’s Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report. For now, we’ll sum up some of the fun facts Wortiska and Cal-Organic share with their social media audience:Organic carrots...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers


David Robles

Last Thursday, February 18, CCOF held its first fully virtual annual meeting, Cultivate and Nourish. While we look forward to being together again soon, holding this event virtually allowed for unprecedented attendance and participation. Farmers, ranchers, and producers who typically lack time to attend conferences were able to log in from the comfort of their homes and hear directly from CCOF’s CEO Kelly Damewood and CCOF Board Chair Phil LaRocca.David Robles, program manager for food justice organization Food, What?! and former participant in CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Famer program,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation


Rustic Canyon Family

PHOTO: Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, by Rick PoonThe CCOF Foundation is thrilled to announce its newest Visionary-level supporter, the Rustic Canyon Family. This independent restaurant group in Santa Monica, California, features a variety of neighborhood dining destinations in partnership with talented and award-winning leaders in food and wine. Learn more about the family at their website.  Since the 2006 opening of farmers’-market-driven and Michelin-starred Rustic Canyon, the family has expanded to include Huckleberry Bakery & Café, Sweet Rose Creamery, Milo & Olive, Cassia, Esters...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 on CCOF, general organic


Last month, CCOF hosted a virtual screening of the critically acclaimed film Gather, a documentary directed by Sanjay Rawal. Gather tells the stories of Native Americans in the United States reclaiming and reigniting sacred connections to food and land through the traditional teachings of their elders as political, social, and economic forces threaten their ways of life.   Attendees included hundreds of CCOF-certified members, organic supporters, and representatives from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Gather sheds light on how the shadowed history of food sovereignty, land...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 on


Bonterra

Bonterra is the latest in a group of businesses to support organic farmers who have suffered from the 2020 wildfires and COVD-19 pandemic. Many small and medium-sized organic farms experienced disruptions in supply chains due to farmers' market closures and significantly reduced demand from the food service industry. With restaurants, bars, hotels, and other businesses closing, many producers had to completely reinvent their business models, and then dealt with COVID-related illnesses or wildfires to boot.  During the giving season, Bonterra stepped up and offered the CCOF Foundation a...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 14, 2020 on

As food insecurity increases due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clif Bar has doubled its annual donation of Clif bars to families in need.  Snewsnet.com reports that Clif Bar “is doubling its previous 7 million bar donation that went to frontline health care workers and first responders and is distributing another 7 million bars to food banks and community organizations that reach U.S. counties most in need as we enter summer. Clif Bar is also opening its employee café at its headquarters (HQ) in Emeryville to make up to 450 meals per week that will be distributed to volunteers serving the...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Gather

Join the CCOF family for a special viewing of Gather this Thursday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. PST. Director Sanjay Rawal has generously donated his time to participate in a live Q&A session that will take place after the film screening. Gather is a timely portrait of the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty.  Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona) opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


FAFO

In the age of information, consumers want to know where their food comes from. Was it grown locally? How long did it take to travel to my plate? How much fuel was used in its transport? As the internet and technological advances make it easier for consumers to find information, organic businesses and producers are becoming even more transparent about their supply chain. This helps maintain their customer base of ecologically minded, conscious consumers who want to be part of the solution to many of the problems facing our world.  Organic Valley Co-op (who, like CCOF, partnered with the USDA...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Australia is no stranger to the devastation wildfires wreak upon the communities and natural habitats in their wake. With this year so full of unexpected twists and turns, many of us need to be reminded that 2020 started off with devastating fires that engulfed the Australian countryside. Our friends and organic colleagues in Australia endured months with no access to water. Communities lost years' worth of work and belongings that cannot be replaced. And yet, despite all the loss, when fires devastated the West Coast of the United States, our fellow food producers in Australian called us and...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


Moua

When Ge Moua and her family purchased their first plot of land in August of last year, they never could have foreseen the challenges 2020 would bring. Owning their own land was supposed to bring them stability after a decade of farming organically on leased plots that were continually sold to developers, causing the Mouas to start over again each time. Seven months after becoming landowners, however, the coronavirus pandemic shuttered farmers’ markets in Sacramento, where the Mouas sell their produce and make the majority of their sales.  The Mouas owed $3,149 in property taxes that were due...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic

Tanimura & Antle is leading the way in setting an industry standard for housing by providing modern, quality housing for its farmworker staff. In California, housing is an issue for all industries. Many high-end tech companies are investing heavily in housing to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Farmworkers, one of the most overlooked highly skilled workforces in our nation, could benefit from similar benefits. Without the ability to pick produce “remotely,” farmworkers will always need to live near the land where they work. And, without significant investment from their employers,...

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