From Field to Forum

Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, January 25, 2016 on CCOF, events

Register now for the 2016 CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference to lock in the special rates for both the event registration and hotel room! We’re counting down the days until February 29, when we’ll convene in Sacramento for this special event. Early bird pricing for CCOF Members ends this Friday, January 29—register now to take advantage of this special pricing. CCOF has also reserved a block of rooms at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. The special rate of $195/night is only good until this Friday, January 29. Reserve your room today so you can be there to help us draft a plan to advance...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, January 25, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at the world’s largest annual agricultural show February 9-11, 2016, in Tulare, CA! Come visit us at the 2016 World Ag Expo in Building C at booth 3619! We will be prepared to answer your certification questions and talk organic. This is a “can’t-miss show” for producers, ranchers, and agribusiness professionals, with over 1,500 exhibitors spread out over 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. We look forward to seeing you there!
Written by Tami Weiss on Friday, January 15, 2016 on CCOF, events, State Organic Program

Join CCOF on February 29 in Sacramento for this year’s Annual Meeting and Conference: Blueprint for an Organic World! Help us draft a plan to advance the organic movement and create a world where organic is the norm. The day will begin with the 2016 Annual Meeting and a keynote address from Nikiko Masumoto—a CCOF organic farmer, author, and agrarian artist. The Annual Conference will follow with discussion sessions where we will create a Blueprint for an Organic World. Session 1: Leveling the Playing Field: Updating California’s Organic Law California Central Coast Assemblymember Mark Stone...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, January 15, 2016 on CCOF, NOSB


You could call Zea Sonnabend a fixture of the organic movement if she didn’t move around so much—Zea just can’t resist getting involved. Time and time again, she’s been in a small meeting where a volunteer was needed to carry on the work and she felt the urge to step up. Collaborative, sharp, determined to do the right thing with organic, and known for her tenacity, Zea also knows how to relax as a San Francisco Giants season ticket holder. Perhaps it’s team loyalty that keeps her tied to organic strategizing. Take CCOF, for example. Before there was even an office and organic farmers...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 11, 2016 on advocacy, events, fees, policy, State Organic Program

Join CCOF at EcoFarm as we kick off our campaign to pass the Organic Farming Act—an act to end outdated State Organic Program fees and paperwork! California Central Coast Assemblymember Mark Stone will introduce the Organic Farming Act to update California’s state organic law. The Organic Farming Act will end unfair, duplicative, and outdated fees and paperwork while also creating a new framework for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to support organic agriculture. To pass the Organic Farming Act, we need your help at two critical EcoFarm events. Attend the California...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, January 11, 2016 on education, events, future organic farmers


Many organic farmers will retire in the next 10 years and are struggling with the questions: “How can I retire and how will I pass my knowledge to the next generation?” At the same time, young farmers are asking, “How can I get started, and build on what the elders have accomplished?” We invite farmers of all generations to join California FarmLink, CCOF, and organic industry partners to explore options and learn about farmland and business succession strategies. In the morning, farmers and stakeholders will gather to share and discuss key succession issues and challenges, transition needs,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2016 on marketing, research

The newly published research titled, “Organic Producer Perspectives on California State Mandated Marketing Programs and Implications for a Federal Organic Promotion Order”, examines the role of government mandated marketing programs in promoting certified organic produce in California. The two researchers, Tina Cosentino and Gregory Baker, set out to document organic growers’ perspectives on agricultural marketing programs in California and to evaluate the benefit of those programs. This research is timely as the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is conducting a multi-year national effort to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2016 on research, seeds


University of California Davis and Organic Seed Alliance are working to develop new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and dry beans specifically suited to the needs of organic farmers in California. In order to develop these varieties, the Organic Seed Alliance needs your help to understand your specific organic production needs and have developed a survey to gather your suggestions. The results of this survey will help direct this substantial organic breeding effort for the next several years. If tomatoes, peppers, or beans are important to your farm, please consider taking 15 minutes to...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, January 4, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at this year’s 36th annual EcoFarm Conference! Will you? CCOF staff and members will be participating in several sessions at EcoFarm this year. Take a look at our list of workshops and plenaries involving CCOF members and staff, and come say hello! We’ll also be at the New and Beginning Farmer/Rancher Mixer we’re co-sponsoring on Thursday, January 21 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Get to know the people who provide support to new farmers in the sustainable agriculture landscape. Meet other beginners and connect with resources, and link up with potential partners, landowners, and supporters...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 4, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy


The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a citizen advisory board that offers input to the National Organic Program on allowed materials and practices in certified organic production. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the NOSB meets twice a year to review organic materials and policies. Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed six new members to the NOSB who will begin serving their terms in 2016. The new NOSB members are: Jesse Buie (pictured), organic producer representative, a CCOF-certified farmer in Mississippi with a distinguished background in health care...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, December 18, 2015 on biodiversity, funding, grants, grower

Organic farmers and ranchers can sign up now for technical assistance and funding from two different programs. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to take land out of production and restore it with resource-conserving plant species. The Working Lands for Wildlife program offers funds to restore and protect habitat for greater sage grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Conservation Reserve Program Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is open through February 26, 2016. Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species such...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation


Do you want to live in a world where organic is the norm? We do too! At the CCOF Foundation, we train new organic farmers, support those who already farm organically, and remind shoppers why they should always buy certified organic. Over the course of 2015, we reached more than 135,000 organic farmers, teachers, students, and consumers. Here’s what we have achieved this year in our four program areas: Future Organic Farmer Grant FundWe make grants directly to students and teachers of organic agriculture. In 2015, we reached 4,500 teachers, students, and their families.  Organic Training...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2015 on rating system

Do you sell to Whole Foods? Are you interested in hearing more about and giving feedback on the Whole Foods Market (WFM) Responsibly Grown rating system? WFM is hosting a series of regional meetings around the United States in January, February, and March of 2016 to help growers and shippers understand their Responsibly Grown rating system. This is your chance to meet with the WFM Procurement Team for a discussion about the rating system for produce and flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rating system changes proposed for 2016 and provide feedback and input on the program...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF


Spread the holiday cheer by giving your favorite farmer or organic enthusiast the newest CCOF gear this season! We just added new hats to the shop to keep the sun out of your eyes in the field. Choose from our black trucker-style hat with a “Support Organic Farmers” patch, or our tan hat with the same slogan embroidered on the cap. Both hats are made in the U.S.A. with organic cotton, so they are gifts you can feel great about giving! If the hats aren't your style, show your support for organic farmers by sewing one of our new “Support Organic Farmers” patches onto your bag, coat, or overalls...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF

As you gather close to family this time of year, our staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed on the following dates: Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24 Christmas Day: Friday, December 25 New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1 We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return. Thank you for your support of organic in 2015! Happy holidays!

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