From Field to Forum

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 8, 2016 on advocacy, food safety, policy

Wild Farm Alliance recently announced the release of the publication Co-Managing Farm Stewardship with Food Safety GAPs and Conservation Practices: A Grower's and Conservationist’s Handbook. The publication provides a resource for organic produce growers taking steps to address food safety on their farms, while continuing to conserve biodiversity and natural resources. FDA Food Safety Regulations Encourage On-Farm Conservation In November 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In the preamble of that FSMA...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 8, 2016 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent the 2015 Certified Organic Survey to all known organic farms in the United States earlier this year. This survey requests information on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities. Of the many surveys organic farmers receive, this survey stands out in importance because the data collected will help determine the value for covered crop losses under federal crop insurance policies. Historically, crop insurance has only reimbursed organic producers for the value of their crops in conventional markets....
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, February 8, 2016 on CCOF

Learn more about CCOF in a video and interview with our Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo, created by the Santa Cruz Economic Development Office. The video also features our friend Jeff Larkey at Route 1 Farms and scenes from the bustling Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market, where a number of CCOF members represent organic and sell their beautiful produce. Watch the video to find out more about CCOF’s history, role in the Santa Cruz community, and the driving force behind our passion for organic. “CCOF does this work because we really believe that organic is the right way to produce food....
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, February 8, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference this year in La Crosse, WI February 25-27! Come see us at the largest U.S. event for organic and sustainable farming. Bring your organic and food safety certification questions and enter to win one of our new hats! We will be in booth #702. At the MOSES Conference you will learn new ways to improve your farm, discover resources and tools, make connections and find support. We look forward to seeing you there!
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, February 8, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at the Annual Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Conference on Wednesday, February 17! Join commercial fruit and vegetable growers from Colorado of all scales, marketing channels and production practices for this day event in Denver. Bring your organic and food safety certification questions to our booth. See you there!
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, February 1, 2016 on CCOF Foundation

The CCOF Foundation is thrilled to share our 2015 Annual Report: Growing Organic Futures. The report highlights our achievements over the past year, and shares the stories of the partners we worked with and the people we impacted. In 2015, we reached more than 135,000 organic farmers, teachers, students, and consumers. This would not have been possible without the strategic and financial support of our partners. We worked with more than 50 organizations to make grants to students and teachers of organic agriculture, educate new and existing organic farmers, provide hardship assistance to...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, February 1, 2016 on education, events

Join farmer-educator Christof Bernau from the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday, February 24, from 12-1 p.m. for a free webinar on farm-based experiential education. Bernau will discuss ways to use an array of strategies to engage your audience; build student, intern and apprentice capacity; and grow the next generation of farmers. Drawing on 20 years of experience in farmer education, Bernau will talk about best practices and strategies to optimize farm-based agricultural learning. He will provide an overall view of the revised CASFS...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 1, 2016 on policy, regulatory

The California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) published the 2015 Report on Legislation Related to and Food and Farming. The document reports on California bills related to CAFPC’s guiding principles and critiques the 2015 California legislative session. The document also presents legislator voting records to identify California policymakers who champion food issues, and offers a Food Policy Index to provide context-setting data points. As part of the CAFPC policy workgroup, CCOF participated in identifying bills to be tracked and analyzed for the report. CCOF strongly values the CAFPC...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 1, 2016 on funding, grants

The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in Spring 2016. Projects that will be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Some examples of sustainability projects may include (but are not limited to) planting of cover crops to help with water...
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,...

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