CCOF Blog

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy

  Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) meets with farmer Leslie Cooperband, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition    Last week, farmers from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) first 2018 Farm Bill “fly-in”. NSAC’s farmer fly-ins provide farmers and farm/food advocates with the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers in Congress about the issues that most affect their lives, businesses, and communities. On November 8th, NSAC held our first of several fly-ins focused on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF, marketing, policy

The feature article for the fall edition of CCOF’s Certified Organic magazine is now available online for ready reference, to download, and to print on demand. The article provides an overview of what’s in the farm bill, describes the political dynamics around the farm bill, and presents organic farm bill priorities.    Please read it and share widely!
Written by Jane Wade on Monday, November 20, 2017 on certification process, events, general organic

According to the USDA, consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth. Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly three out of four conventional grocery stores. Almonds, always popular, are benefiting from this growth.   Have you considered transitioning conventional almonds to organic? Are you planting new trees? Find out why organic is more than just a label and how going organic can benefit your business. Join CCOF at the 2017 Almond Board Conference on Thursday, December 7 and learn why and how organic is...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund - Direct Financial Assistance for Organic Producers   We are concerned about our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and fires in California, not to mention the numerous other natural disasters in last year. CCOF responds to crises such as these each year by offering financial assistance to organic producers. If you—or an organic professional you know—has experienced hardship during the 2017 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance from the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. CCOF is...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 20, 2017 on events, policy


Last week, CCOF hosted a farm tour for the California State Legislature to highlight the challenges and opportunities for organic agriculture. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA-04) and legislative staff joined Paul Underhill at Terra Firma Farm and Thaddeus Barsotti at Capay Organic Farm. While the tour highlighted the multiple environmental and economic benefits of organic agriculture, it also clearly demonstrated the immense regulatory pressures organic farmers are struggling with today.    Underhill began the tour of Terra Firma Farm by broadly introducing organic and showing real-...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, regulatory

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released long-anticipated rules restricting pesticide applications close to public schools and daycare facilities.    The new rules require that pesticides using aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or applied as a dust, powder, or fumigant between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday be located at least ¼ mile from schools.    At least 25-foot distance is required when application is made via ground-rig sprayer, soil injection equipment, or other types of applications including drip or flood chemigation.    There are no...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF, general organic

Joshua Dransfield’s (2016 and 2017 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient) family farm was recently featured in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. The Dransfields run Windsprings Farm, a small organic dairy in Gapmills, West Virginia. With the assistance of Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, the Dransfield family started their transition to organic four years ago. The years of transition were challenging for the Dransfields. Organic feed was hard to source in the area and the amount of time it takes to get certified required time and resources. Thanks to support from other organic dairy...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jessica Grathwoh Boonville   I began my aquaponics Supervised Agricultural Experience for my agriscience project in August 2016. Currently, I have a 30-gallon tank with 20 goldfish, one flood table with clay pellets, and 78 lettuce heads planted. I plan to expand to using two flood tables, doubling the amount of fish, and testing which varieties of lettuce grow the best and the fastest. After my experiment concludes in April 2017, I will continue to grow different items for my family's use and for sale. Because aquaponics is gaining in popularity due to its organic properties, I see this...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 6, 2017 on events, grower

Are you looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California?    Each winter, the CCOF Foundation runs a tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, connecting organic growers with buyers who specialize in organic produce. Tour participants visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.    This tour sells out early every year, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF website to find...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events

The CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide grants to high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last four years. This year, Foundation staff member Josaphine Stevenson attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first time. The Convention and Expo were attended by 64,000 FFA students from throughout the nation.   We were inspired by the students’ energy and enthusiasm for agriculture. Stevenson also had the opportunity to meet and visit with several of the amazing students who...
Written by Catherine Hsu on Monday, October 30, 2017 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events

Join CCOF and Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross on December 13, 2017 at the CCOF Foundation’s We Are Organic Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. We will recognize the Foundation’s accomplishments and your role in making them possible!   The CCOF Foundation advances organic agriculture for a healthy world by educating future organic farmers, helping consumers understand organic, assisting organic farmers in need, and providing training for organic professionals. At this dinner, we’ll hear from Secretary of the California Department of Food Agriculture Karen...

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