From Field to Forum

Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, July 31, 2017 on education, general organic


Dear CCOF Members and Supporters,   It seems we say this every year, but it’s not a bad refrain to repeat: You enacted real change to better the organic community in 2016.   There’s no other organization in the nation like CCOF. The strength of CCOF’s 100 percent organic focus is outshined only by the powerful vision for organic of those who govern our organization: certified organic farmers, ranchers, processors, and handlers. These individuals move the needle on growing organic every day by running successful organic businesses, but their involvement with CCOF takes that dedication even...
Written by Catherine Hsu on Monday, July 31, 2017 on financial assistance, funding, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic

Donate to the CCOF Foundation – help us support future and current organic farmers. Heleigh Jones, 2017 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Winner   As summer wraps up across the country, the CCOF Foundation is opening the 2017 Annual Campaign to continue our work to bring health to our world through organic agriculture.    Your donation will support: The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund – educate a new generation of organic farmers. The Organic Training Institute – provide organic-specific technical assistance to 750 producers.  The Bricmont Fund – offer a helping hand to organic producers in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 31, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

Members of the United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee will host a roundtable discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill on Thursday, August 10, 2017.    Congressmen Jimmy Panetta and Jim Costa will be joined by House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson to gather California’s Central Coast’s farm bill priorities from 9:30 am to 11:00 a.m. at:    Hartnell Community College – Steinbeck Hall 411 Central Ave.  Salinas, CA 93901   The event is a rare opportunity for producers on the Central Coast to contribute to the national discussions that will help form the 2018...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 31, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

Modesto, California will host the next House Committee on Agriculture’s farm bill listening session. The session will start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at: Modesto Junior College West Campus – ACE Ag Pavilion Brink Ave. & Shoemaker Ave. Modesto, CA 95385   Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson are hosting the session to gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill includes funding to the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, the Organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 24, 2017 on general organic, regulatory

Long time CCOF ally Community Alliance with Family Farmers is a regional partner of the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC). LFSC has developed a needs assessment survey to gather input to support farmers and processors in complying with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act regulations.    Farmers, what food safety help do you need? Please fill out this needs assessment survey to let LFSC know how they can help you. This survey is voluntary and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. After completing the survey, you may elect to enter your personal information to be entered in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 24, 2017 on pests and pesticides, research

The laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Albany, California, is seeking sites for Bagrada bug research in California.    Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are currently infested with Bagrada bug would work for our purposes. We are investigating whether native predators or parasitic wasps attack Bagrada bug eggs as part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for Bagrada bug. We would put out frozen Bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards and leave them...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF, general organic, regulatory

To ensure that all CCOF-certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish new chapters. This fall, all certified members will have the opportunity to vote to amend CCOF’s membership bylaws accordingly. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws.   About the Amendments   The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters that include currently unrepresented...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a farm bill listening session in Modesto, California on August 5, 2017. Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson will gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   The farm bill is a crucial piece of legislation that affects millions of Americans. It is passed by Congress every five years and sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. It consists of 12 major sections or titles: commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, regulatory, standards

Farmers and ranchers in the San Diego region have until August 7, 2017, to enroll in the Agricultural Order, a set of monitoring and reporting requirements that regulates pollutant discharges from agricultural lands.    Each of California’s nine regional water quality control boards are at various stages of implementing an agricultural order. The San Diego Water Board adopted an Agricultural Order for the San Diego region in November 2016.   Growers can comply with the Agricultural Order by joining a third-party group, such as the San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group, or apply as an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic

Organic champion and CCOF Board of Directors chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards has been awarded the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award!   LaRocca is a pioneering organic wine grape grower and winemaker who uses innovative, environmentally friendly farming practices to produce wines with no added sulfites. He became the first certified organic apple grower in 1975 and then transitioned to wine and grape growing.      LaRocca has been active with CCOF since its inception and has spent the last 40 years advocating for organic farming. He is a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will host Farm Bill listening sessions in San Angelo, Texas on July 21, 2017 and in Morgan, Minnesota on August 3, 2017. The sessions will provide legislators insight that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   More information regarding the sessions will be available shortly. The sessions are often broadcasted on the House Committee on Agriculture website. Copies of witness testimonies will also be available.     Both the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture have hosted farm bill listening sessions across the country. The sessions give members of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, funding, general organic, policy, regulatory

Support continued funding of the National Organic Program (NOP) by using the Organic Trade Association’s portal to contact your representatives and convey the importance of continuing strong NOP oversight over organic certification.   CCOF highly encourages members and the organic community to contact their representatives and advocate on behalf of organic and importance of funding NOP.    The House Appropriations Committee could affect NOP funding in several ways. One interference tactic is to add rider bills to budget bills that would block funding. The Organic Livestock and Poultry...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on financial assistance, general organic

On Saturday, July 8, the Wall Fire burned the home, packing shed, coolers, and farm equipment of The Peach Jamboree (previously known as Woodleaf Farm, one of CCOF’s long-certified farms). Bought by young farmers Danny Lazzarini and Drew Seidman in 2016, Woodleaf Farm’s transition to the next generation has been hailed as a model for other retiring organic farmers. Read more about the farm’s succession story on Page 31 of CCOF’s Spring magazine.   To support these young organic farmers getting back on their feet, please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaign that was organized by their...
Written by Antonina Hines on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic, help and tips, regulatory

Many fertilizers and some herbicides and pesticides are labeled as “organic,” even though they aren’t allowed for use in organic production. These products are using the word “organic” as a chemist would, meaning they contain carbon compounds. The USDA only restricts the use of the word “organic” on food products, which allows companies to put whatever they choose on an input label as long as it is factual. This does not mean that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has approved these inputs for use in organic production.   Farmers and home gardeners may understandably be confused by this...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The deadline for nominations for individuals with environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds to fill an upcoming vacancy on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! Nominations must be submitted by August 7, 2017 and include a resume, an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before August 7, 2017. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls, review materials and/or recommend changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited...

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