CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on advocacy, education

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. More than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business, and other areas.   The 17-month program includes approximately 56 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities—California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo;...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 26, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed


Logan Hailey has devoted her life to growing nutritious food while preserving and enhancing the soil, water, air, and biodiversity of our planet for generations to come. Within the next few years, she hopes to start a small-scale, highly biodiverse farm that utilizes clean renewable energy, permaculture design, and ecological methods to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, honey, and free-range eggs. Hailey is currently gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this goal, including getting her B.S. in Soil Science and Ecological Horticulture Production from Oregon State...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 26, 2018 on advocacy, funding, grants, policy

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly, AB-2377, to establish a technical assistance grant program for farmers and ranchers applying for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The technical assistance grants will address the difficulty in designing, applying for, and implementing projects for the programs.   The bill requires CDFA to provide funding to technical assistance providers, such as resource conservation districts or nonprofit organizations, to assist farmers and ranchers applying to the Healthy Soils Program,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 26, 2018 on biodiversity, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits, universities, and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).   “If we are to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and improve the health of California’s soil, we must do everything we can to help our farmers and ranchers apply to our programs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Leveraging our partnerships with the academic community, nonprofits, and RCDs...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory


veggies

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a workshop that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers at a discounted rate.  Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees.   Workshops will be held throughout California, including locations near Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, Petaluma, and Monterey. The Fresno, San...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, State Organic Program

CCOF encourages the organic community to complete the California State Organic Program (SOP) survey. The survey will help SOP develop new communication and marketing tools.   The survey will guide the SOP on how to create and publish new messaging. The survey gathers information such as what participants know about the program, what they would like to see from the program, and where’d they like to see new information published.    For questions regarding the survey, please contact the SOP.
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

Judith Redmond introduces Dave Runsten at 38th annual EcoFarm Conference   At the 38th annual EcoFarm Conference in late January, we were thrilled to see Dave Runsten, policy director at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), receive a Steward of Sustainable Agriculture (“Sustie”) award. According to the Ecological Farming Association, the award honors “those special people who have been actively and critically involved in ecologically sustainable agriculture and who have demonstrated their long term, significant contributions to the well-being of agriculture and the planet.”  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, regulatory, water


Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted requirements for commercial and personal medical use cannabis cultivation. The requirements—the Cannabis Cultivation Policy—aim to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions.    The Cannabis Cultivation Policy is available online. The policy should be referenced by cannabis cultivators who divert surface water to irrigate cannabis or plan to.    Licensed cannabis cultivators must register with the State Water Board under one or two cannabis cultivation regulatory programs. Applications for the State Water Board...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Balboa Middle School Ventura County, California The main objective of Salad Bar Farms is to let the students of Balboa Middle School become active participants in growing the produce that is served at their school during lunch. Over the course of this grant, approximately 600 students (half of the student body) visited the farm. Further, approximately 550 pounds of carrots, lettuce, and green beans from the farm were served at the school's salad bar. An unaccounted amount of produce was directly consumed by students on the farm during their visits. One of our greatest accomplishments was how...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, February 12, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation


Join Darrell Wood from Panorama Meats at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. The event will explore the factors that have made California a hotbed of organic hotspots activity and discuss ways to encourage the growth of organic hotspots across rural America. We will hear the stories of organic leaders who have contributed to economic revitalization through organic in rural areas, and from those who have seen the impacts first-hand on their businesses and communities. For more information and event registration, visit www.ccof.org/2018-event.  ...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


The CCOF team (including our office dogs!) are often clad head to toe in Patagonia gear. Patagonia is a company that we are proud to support given their commitment to using organic materials and food.    Patagonia is also a Visionary member of the CCOF Foundation, which works to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world. With their support, the CCOF Foundation runs a range of programs to support new and existing organic producers and to educate consumers about the importance of organic agriculture.    Patagonia is also a key partner in launching a new initiative: The Roadmap to an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on policy

CCOF applauds the growing bipartisan support for organic agriculture research in both chambers of Congress, including the broad support for organic research from California members of the House.    Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2018. This bill increases federal investment in the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, which funds organic agricultural research throughout the United States.    This bill compliments the House Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436), which has a strong showing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on biodiversity, farm bill, grower, handler

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that U.S. farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial fiscal year (FY) 2018 application for the nation’s largest working lands program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).    Over 72 million acres across the country–roughly 8 percent of all agricultural land–are currently enrolled in whole-farm conservation contracts. The significant amount of working lands already enrolled in CSP, and the fact that in recent years CSP has had to turn away as many as 75 percent of qualified applicants, is evidence...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, employment

The National Farmers Union is accepting applications for the Beginning Farmer Institute. The Beginning Farmer Institute focuses on developing leadership and farm management skills in beginning farmers through small group teaching.    The application form is available for download and applications are accepted until April 30, 2018.   Eligible applicants include those who are currently farming or planning on starting within the next year. Ownership of an operation is not required, and operators of any operation type or size are eligible. The program is open to residents throughout the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...

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