CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on events, general organic


Each year the EcoFarm Conference kicks off with a popular all-day farm bus tour. This year, the tour was titled “Organic Farming On and Near the Hollister Plain” and brought participants to farms and ranches in the Hollister area, including three CCOF-certified operations: Coke Farm, Morris Grassfed, and Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce.   The packed tour began at Coke Farm with Dale and Christine Coke explaining the services they provide to bolster their local community of organic farmers. Coke Farm pioneered organic strawberry growing and spring mixes, and was one of the first CCOF-...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Stillwater Township Elementary SchoolStillwater, New Jersey This spring, our Schoolyard Garden Club will meet once again thanks to the generosity of this program. Students in sixth grade will gather after school, grab their "gardening gear," and walk out to our raised bed garden area. We started with spring plantings, plan to work on purchasing a compost bin for the garden, and will proudly wear our student-designed shirts! Students will create a drip irrigation system using plastic milk jugs placed around the raised beds to help water during our spring break. Our school has secured enough...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Sacramento, February 22-23   Join A.G. Kawamura and CCOF at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   Kawamura is a third generation produce grower and shipper and co-owner of CCOF-certified Orange County Produce, LLC. From 2003 to 2010, Kawamura served as the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He is the founding chairman of Solutions for Urban Agriculture (SFUA). For over 30 years, Kawamura has pursued a lifelong goal...
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 Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


College Prep Elementary St. Paul, Minnesota The goal of our project was to expose five- and six-year-old kindergarten students to different varieties of organic fruits and vegetables. Many of our students are English Language Learners and have never seen most fruits and vegetables. During this school year we had successful tastings for a large variety of different fruits and vegetables. Many students tasted different foods that they had never had before. By using our kindergarten USDA nutrition books and having these fruit and vegetable tastings, we successfully completed our goal to have...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, handler

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join CCOF at the Organic Hotspots conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   The Organic Hotspot study recently conducted by Penn State Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke demonstrated conclusively that median household incomes increase and poverty rates decrease as a direct result of organic food and crop production by county, especially when organic businesses exist in clusters, or “hotspots.”   The conference will feature keynote speaker Glenda...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance

Each year, the CCOF Foundation offers direct financial assistance for organic producers who experience loss due to hardship via the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. These hardships include natural disasters such as flood, freeze, fire, drought, and invasive pests, and personal emergencies. Since the Fund’s inception in 2007, the CCOF Foundation has distributed $129,438 to 159 organic producers.    2017 was extremely challenging for agricultural producers across the United States. The hurricanes that struck Florida and Texas and the wildfires in California had a tremendous impact on organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy, regulatory, standards

Last week, CCOF submitted a comment to USDA opposing the agency’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. CCOF also joined 80 other organic producers, retailers, organizations, certifiers, farm groups, and consumer organizations in an open letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to implement the rule.    The OLPP rule is the result of decades of rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and members of the organic community. The rule ensures that organic animals live in pasture-based systems, establishes minimum indoor and...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF, events, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Matt Seeley (Left) and Tonya Antle (Center) of the Organic Produce Network present CCOF Foundation Chair Allen Harthorn (Center) and Cathy Calfo (Right) with donation for CCOF Foundation at the Organic Grower Summit We Are Organic dinner in Monterey, Ca   The CCOF Foundation was honored to host the We Are Organic dinner to kick off the sold-out inaugural Organic Grower Summit on December 13. The Organic Grower Summit was presented by the Organic Produce Network (OPN) and CCOF.    The dinner was an opportunity to bring together more than 100 supporters of the CCOF Foundation to...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF

CCOF is launching a series of upgrades to www.ccof.org in the coming weeks to better serve the needs of our members. This week, you’ll see changes on our homepage, making it easier to find news relevant to your organic business. In the coming weeks, the site will be easier to navigate, with all the tools you know and love at the tips of your fingers. 
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The State Water Board postponed deliberation of its updated agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed to February 7, when it will consider adoption of the order.   Otherwise known as waste discharge requirements, agricultural orders regulate discharges from irrigated lands, such as sediments, pesticides, and nitrates. The Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed draft order was originally proposed in February 2016. In response to extensive public comment and formal petitions for review, the Water Board released a second draft order in October 2017 that was slated for...
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...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on fees, help and tips

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released a comprehensive guidebook to aid farmers with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans. The illustrated guidebook, Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, is available for free online or in hard copy for $15. NYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They support practices and policies to sustain young, independent, and prosperous farmers now and in the future. The guidebook, created with the help of FSA, includes a wide array of information that covers FSA’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 22, 2018 on events

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to let you know about an exciting new undertaking featuring organic farmers, NRCS employees, and other conservationists that is being rolled out next week at the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar on January 24-27, 2018. If you are planning to attend the conference, please stop by and visit with us at our booth, and consider joining us for one or both of these two special events:    Poster Reception Following Keynote Wednesday, January 24, 9:00 p.m., Nautilus and Triton RoomsTickets can be purchased onsite for $50, and include an all-...

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