CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on biodiversity, events

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is partnering with eOrganic to present a series of nine webinars based on OFRF’s soil health and organic farming educational guides. The first webinar will be May 9, 2018. The series will run through May 2019.   Presented by the guides’ authors Mark Schonbeck and Diana Jerkins, the webinars will cover  Building organic matter for healthy soils Ecological weed management Practical conservation tillage Selecting and managing cover crops Plant genetics Water management and quality Crop nutrient management Organic practices for climate...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 7, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Although Benjamin Meeks was born in Kenya, he grew up on a 35-acre farm in rural Appalachia.  As far back as Meeks can remember, he’s had a passion for farming and nature. The plants and animals on his family’s small farm in the Appalachian mountains were his backyard and the world he called home.    Naturally, as Meeks grew older, he began asking the question, “why?” Why do the animals eat the plants? Why do the plants grow better in some places than in other places? These questions were the sparks that ignited Meeks’ interest in how mother nature works. His primary focus today is on organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy


CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain.    “We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks.    Lewin outlined three first-step solutions to immediately increase oversight of imported organic crops and products. Those solutions include...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

  The National Organic Program (NOP) extended the commenting deadline for their proposed rule of 35 amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOP will now be accepting comments until May 14, 2018.    The proposed rule amends the National List by changing the restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production or handling; adding 16 new substances; prohibiting rotenone for organic crop production; and removing ivermectin as an allowed parasiticides for organic livestock production.    Proposed Updates to Existing Substances on National List...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for all 25 positions of the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). FVIAC examines issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry to provide ideas on ways to improve programs to better meet the changing needs of the produce industry.   The deadline for nominations is May 24, 2018. Nominees should submit a cover letter detailing qualifications, a resume (fewer than five pages), the required Form AD-755, and optional letters of endorsement. Nominations should be submitted to marlene.betts@ams.usda.gov or valerie.minick@ams.usda.gov;...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 2800 Gateway Oaks in Sacramento from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Thomas Osborn, (916) 900-5210, thomas.osborn@cdfa.ca.gov.   Before there were USDA organic regulations, the forward-looking state of California passed its own organic regulations in 1990. Today, California is the only state in the country with its own State Organic Program (SOP) that provides enforcement and regulatory activities within the state, much like the National Organic Program (NOP) does for the rest of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on biodiversity, grower, pests and pesticides

Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource.    Many...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) will host a free webinar on advances in information technology to strengthen the integrity of the organic seal for producers, businesses, and consumers.   The hour-long webinar will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Pre-registration is not required.    Participants can connect to the webinar online and over the phone: On the Web  Meeting URL:  http://www.readytalk.com Access Code: 7202000  By Phone  Toll-Free (U.S. & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code: 7202000 Calling in from another country? Find a call-in number at...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 30, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield plans to pursue a B.S. degree focusing on organic dairy production. He attends the University of West Virginia, which has a certified organic farm, a conventional dairy, and is very supportive of Dransfield’s decision to continue on his family's farm. He believes that small family farms offer dairymen and women an opportunity to make a good income doing honest work.    Dransfield’s future career goals are to become a certified organic dairy producer, and to successfully transition more of his family's land into organic production. His uncle and parents have dairy farms, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-3) joins fellows California Congressional delegates in supporting organic integrity with his cosponsorship of the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, H.R.3871.   H.R.3871 would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.   Twelve CCOF members recently signed a letter to Congressman Garamendi successfully urging him to support the bill. Congressman Garamendi responded to his...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Applications are officially open for the CCOF Foundation’s 2018 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in the K-8 and higher education categories! We receive hundreds of applications each year from qualified candidates across the United States. Our work would not be possible without the support of companies like Chino Valley Ranchers. Read about why they support the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Chino Valley Ranchers is a third-generation family-owned and operated egg producer headquartered in Southern California. We provide a full line of fresh shell eggs with 100 percent of our production...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Jeff Huckaby, president and CEO of Grimmway and Cal-Organic, to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.    The 15-member board advises the California governor and secretary of agriculture on key issues of importance to California’s farmers, ranchers, stakeholders, and citizens. The members represent a broad range of agricultural commodities, a variety of geographic regions, and both California university systems.    Cal-Organic became a CCOF member in 1995 and today manages over 45,000 certified organic acres. Huckaby originally joined...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 23, 2018 on general organic

The latest report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on organic processed products shows that gross sales were $11.65 billion in 2017. This represents 17 percent growth from 2016, when organic processed product sales were $9.94 billion.   CDPH is responsible for the State Organic Program’s oversight of organic processed foods production. CDPH is required under state law to issue an annual report to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee that includes the total number of organic registrants, the total number and quantity of each type of product sold as organic,...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, chapters, general organic

On April 10, 33 members of the CCOF Pacific Southwest Chapter met at the Fallbrook Public Library.    The CCOF chapters’ primary purpose is to ensure that CCOF members are represented at the governance level of the organization. The 14 current chapters form a representative democracy that elects the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors that governs CCOF. CCOF chapters also offer unique opportunities to network and strengthen organic businesses with educational programming and advocacy efforts for the organic sector.   The CCOF Pacific Southwest Chapter’s current leadership is Karen Archipley,...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, chapters, general organic

On April 12, 23 members of the CCOF Fresno-Tulare Chapter met at the Ag One Conference room at California State University, Fresno.    The CCOF chapters’ primary purpose is to ensure that CCOF members are represented at the governance level of the organization. The 14 current chapters form a representative democracy that elects the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors that governs CCOF. CCOF chapters also offer unique opportunities to network and strengthen organic businesses with educational programming and advocacy efforts for the organic sector.   Fresno-Tulare Chapter’s current leadership is...

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