From Field to Forum

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 14, 2016 on advocacy, financial assistance, grower, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that new buffer plantings around organic fields are eligible for rental payments and cost-share if they are enrolled in 10-15 year conservation contracts. Part of the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP), the new organic option is open for sign-up throughout the year and is not subject to bidding and ranking processes. Instead, land is enrolled automatically if it qualifies for the program. According to the FSA, eligible practices include riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers, wetland buffers, filter...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 14, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

CCOF Board of Directors member and organic farmer Thaddeus Barsotti wrote an opinion piece supporting the California Organic Food and Farming Act (AB 1826) that was published in the Sacramento Bee on March 8, 2016. Writing, “There is no group of people who wish to maintain the integrity of the certified organic label more than farmers,” Barsotti presented the reasons he supports CCOF’s effort to reform California’s State Organic Program through legislation. He traces the history of the program back to the era before the federal government began to regulate organic with a set of consistent,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 14, 2016 on advocacy, drought, policy

As a service to our members, CCOF maintains a regularly updated list of drought-related resources on its website. Newly posted information includes: The latest measurements from the California snowpack update The degree of drought in different parts of the state Notable weather-related statistics Potential for groundwater recharge on agricultural lands Additionally, the page provides information on financial assistance and other resources, scientific studies, drought news, and crop insurance options. If you have any drought-related news or questions, please contact CCOF Senior Policy...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 7, 2016 on events

The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District, in collaboration with the Shasta County Agricultural Commissioner, is hosting a workshop that focuses on the regulations of and resources for organic production in Shasta County. CCOF will be there! Join us and other speakers, including: Mike Darrow, Agricultural & Standards Investigator at the Shasta County Department of Agriculture, will review the regulatory requirements associated with using pesticides approved for organic operations. Peter Bonkrude, District Manager of the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District, will introduce...
Written by Rebecca Silver on Monday, March 7, 2016 on international, standards

Mexico’s organic sector continues to evolve and grow. CCOF recently attended a meeting for organic certifiers approved by the Mexican government to certify to Mexico’s organic standards (LPO). The meeting was held in Oaxaca by SENASICA/SAGARPA, the agencies that oversee the Mexican organic program. Operations enrolled in the CCOF Mexico Compliance Program should be aware of the following updates: Standards: Revisions to the standards are in progress. While we have no reason to anticipate significant changes that may affect CCOF-certified operations, no draft has yet been made public. CCOF...
Written by Rebecca Silver on Monday, March 7, 2016 on international, standards

El sector orgánico en México continúa evolucionando y creciendo. CCOF recientemente asistió a una reunión para los certificadoras orgánicos aprobadas por el gobierno mexicano para certificar bajo las normas orgánicas de México (LPO). La reunión se llevó a cabo en Oaxaca con el SENASICA/SAGARPA y las agencias que supervisan el programa orgánico de México. Las operaciones inscritas en el Programa de Cumplimiento de CCOF para México, deben estar al tanto de las siguientes actualizaciones: Normas: Las revisiones a las normas está en curso. Si bien no tenemos ninguna razón para anticipar cambios...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 29, 2016 on advocacy, grower, pests and pesticides, policy

The Bagrada Bug Working Group has launched its first issue of the quarterly publication Bagrada Bug News. The Bagrada Bug Working Group is a collaboration between CCOF and researchers at CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, UC Cooperative Extension, USDA-ARS, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and University of Arizona. The working group convened in 2015 to address the challenge of managing this emerging pest in organic mustard-family crop production. The working group’s first major activity was holding a public meeting in December 2015 in Salinas. Six scientific talks on bagrada bug...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 29, 2016 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy

The DARK Act, a bill that would preempt states’ rights to require labels on foods made of or containing genetically modified (GM) crops, is slowly working its way through the federal legislative system. Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last year, the Pompeo Act, unofficially known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act, is scheduled for introduction to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee this week. The Ag Committee will review the bill and vote on whether to forward it to the full Senate for consideration. The status of this bill continues to be in flux, as it was...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, February 22, 2016 on advocacy, biodiversity, NOP, policy

On January 15 of this year, the National Organic Program (NOP) announced the final guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations. The guidance addresses one of the core principles of organic production: conserving natural resources and biodiversity. The USDA organic regulations require certified producers to maintain or improve natural resources on their farms. This guidance provides certifiers and certified producers with examples of production practices that support conservation principles and also comply with the NOP regulations. It also...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, February 22, 2016 on

Today, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new step to support farmers transitioning to certified organic production, by expanding a crop insurance option to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product’s actual value. The Secretary made the announcement at the White House during remarks at the White House Rural Council/USDA Market Summit.   In his announcement, Secretary Vilsack said that “consumer demand for organic products continues to increase and the industry has experienced remarkable growth, representing more than $39 billion in U.S. retail...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, February 22, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim! In addition to being a part of the main trade show event, this year we will be in the Fresh Ideas tent too. We will be there to promote our members, their certified organic products, and our “Organic is Non-GMO & More” seal. Come see us at booth F27 in the Fresh Ideas tent on March 10, or booth 3026 on the main floor of the convention center March 11-13. Natural Products Expo West is the leading trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry, attracting over 70,000 industry professionals and 3,000 exhibits. We look...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, February 22, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at the 29th California Small Farm Conference in Sacramento March 5-8. We will be there to answer any questions about organic certification, food safety certification, and our new “Organic is Non-GMO & More” seal! Small farms are an important part of California agriculture and have a unique set of opportunities and challenges. The California Small Farm Conference is the premier conference for small farmers to hear from industry leaders throughout the state. Come meet and network with famers, farmers’ market managers, educations, government representatives, and more. We look...
Written by Laura Mathias on Friday, February 12, 2016 on events

Earth Day Food & Wine delivers a top-quality food and wine experience paired with a casual, low-key atmosphere, all while celebrating the passionate people behind the sustainable food movement. Nestled under the oaks at Castoro Cellars in Templeton, California on April 23, the event pairs farmers with local chefs: together they present a one-of-a-kind dish!  This event is still looking for farmer partners from the Paso Robles area. Interested? Here are the details:  Farmers and producers donate product for local chefs to use in a dish. The farmer is recognized on event signage and website...
Written by Laura Mathias on Friday, February 12, 2016 on events

With the support of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation is hosting a Go Organic Seminar for industrial hemp farmers and CCOF will be there! Join us and other industry speakers, including: John Roulac, Founder and CEO of Nutiva, the world’s leading organic superfoods brand of hemp, coconut, chia, and red palm superfoods Adam Watson, Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, in a session on organic growing methods Dan Kittredge, Founder of Bionutrient Food Association, a national association of voting members who agree to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Friday, February 12, 2016 on events

A conference on biocontrols will be held March 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in Monterey, California. Hosted by Meister Media Worldwide and the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, the Bio Controls USA 2016 Conference and Expo is geared toward growers, Pest Control Advisors (PCAs), and Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs). During the conference, industry experts will offer hands-on educational sessions on the use of biocontrols in agriculture. Conference attendees can earn continuing education credits for PCAs, CCAs, and other state education programs. The extensive exhibit hall offers attendees the...

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