CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The State Water Board postponed deliberation of its updated agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed to February 7, when it will consider adoption of the order.   Otherwise known as waste discharge requirements, agricultural orders regulate discharges from irrigated lands, such as sediments, pesticides, and nitrates. The Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed draft order was originally proposed in February 2016. In response to extensive public comment and formal petitions for review, the Water Board released a second draft order in October 2017 that was slated for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 22, 2018 on financial assistance, help and tips

Farmers and ranchers are independent and resilient, and their relationships with creditors are often long-term and critical for the future of their businesses. When markets, weather, or other conditions create farm losses, the resulting financial challenges can be difficult to untangle. If you face challenges repaying farm bills and debt, the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) can help. CALAMP works with farmers to develop a feasible plan to move forward. A short illustrated video shows the ag credit mediation process in action.   What Can CALMAP Help With? The United States...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on fees, help and tips

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released a comprehensive guidebook to aid farmers with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans. The illustrated guidebook, Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, is available for free online or in hard copy for $15. NYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They support practices and policies to sustain young, independent, and prosperous farmers now and in the future. The guidebook, created with the help of FSA, includes a wide array of information that covers FSA’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 22, 2018 on events

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to let you know about an exciting new undertaking featuring organic farmers, NRCS employees, and other conservationists that is being rolled out next week at the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar on January 24-27, 2018. If you are planning to attend the conference, please stop by and visit with us at our booth, and consider joining us for one or both of these two special events:    Poster Reception Following Keynote Wednesday, January 24, 9:00 p.m., Nautilus and Triton RoomsTickets can be purchased onsite for $50, and include an all-...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Sierra Madre Elementary School Sierra Madre, California Students created an organic enriched garden studying soil composition and composting methods. They collected scraps from the cafeteria to compost into rich soil. In addition, they incorporated other organic material to enrich the soil organically. Students also learned the importance of giving back to the environment and creating healthy environments. This program supported healthy eating by learning good nutrition habits. For 51 percent of the children, this was the first time they worked with soil and understood that dirt is not soil...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, standards

The comment period on USDA’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP) ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on January 17, 2018.    Comment now to protect organic standards!   OLPP is the product of a lengthy rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities, and access to the outdoors.    However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA has...
Written by Antonina Hines on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on CCOF, events

Take a look at all the amazing places where you can meet CCOF staff! CCOF is out and about participating in a wide variety of events. We look forward to engaging with you face-to-face. Come see us at the CCOF booth at one or more of the following events: Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) January 17-20, 2018 Chattanooga, TN Booth #506       Virginia Association for Biological Farming January 22-24, 2018 Hot Springs, VA EcoFarm Conference January 24-27, 2018 Pacific Grove, CA Booth #B8 World Ag Expo February 13-15, 2018 Tulare, CA Booth #3619,...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy

One of the greatest challenges facing organic growers today is the uncertainty and severe shortages in the agricultural workforce. For this reason, CCOF is calling on California Congressional leadership to work toward immigration reform that includes the following guiding principles:  First and foremost, legislation should create a viable means for the current unauthorized, experienced agricultural workforce to legally work in U.S. agriculture.   Additionally, a guestworker program could also provide much needed support to help meet the current shortages in the agricultural workforce. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will hold five public licensing workshops in the first quarter of 2018. The workshops are free and open to the public and will provide resources and information regarding state commercial cannabis licensing.    Each workshop will include a brief overview and thorough information from BCC and other state and local agencies regarding cannabis licensing. The workshops will be scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   January 22, 2018 – Monterey   Monterey Conference Center 1 Portola Plaza Monterey, CA 93940   January 25, 2018 – Santa Ana  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal.    The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.   CalCannabis and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) host regular licensing workshops to assist members of the public with the application process. Applicants can also...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, water

In response to public concern about the use of recycled oilfield water (otherwise known as produced water) as an irrigation source in the Central Valley, the regional Water Board assembled a Food Safety Expert Panel in 2016 to assess the safety of crops grown using this source of water.    The Food Safety Expert Panel will meet January 24, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and concluding at 3:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Central Valley Water Board’s Board Room located at 11020 Sun Center Drive, Suite 200, in Rancho Cordova, California.   The public is invited to attend. Opportunity for...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity

California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will meet on January 18. The panel reviews and documents agriculture’s positive impacts to the environment and other agriculture issues.    The meeting will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:   California Farm Bureau Federation 2300 River Plaza Drive, Harvest Room Sacramento, CA 95833   The meeting will also be webcast online for those unable to attend the meeting in person.   The panel’s agenda includes updates on CDFA’s Healthy Soil Program and the State Water Efficiency and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events

California’s new Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18 in Sacramento for the first time in 2018. The committee was formed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to advise the licensing authorities on the development of standards and regulations regarding the best practices and guidelines to protect public health and safety. BCC announced its members last fall.    The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at:   Sacramento Convention Center, Rooms 307 - 310 1400  J Street Sacramento, CA 95814   Those who cannot attend the meeting in person will be able to tune in...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 15, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Kimbark Elementary School San Bernardino, California Kimbark Elementary School students planted a winter garden with crops including broccoli, two types of kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and snap peas. Students learned about organic farming as they noticed aphids and insect larvae on the plants, followed by the ladybugs that were there to eat the other bugs. Students enjoyed making smoothies and salads from the vegetable harvest and found that their own perceptions about healthy food were changing. The students absolutely loved this project. They had a chance to see how easy it is to grow your...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.   Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.   The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions,...

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