From Field to Forum

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2016 on research, seeds


University of California Davis and Organic Seed Alliance are working to develop new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and dry beans specifically suited to the needs of organic farmers in California. In order to develop these varieties, the Organic Seed Alliance needs your help to understand your specific organic production needs and have developed a survey to gather your suggestions. The results of this survey will help direct this substantial organic breeding effort for the next several years. If tomatoes, peppers, or beans are important to your farm, please consider taking 15 minutes to...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, January 4, 2016 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be at this year’s 36th annual EcoFarm Conference! Will you? CCOF staff and members will be participating in several sessions at EcoFarm this year. Take a look at our list of workshops and plenaries involving CCOF members and staff, and come say hello! We’ll also be at the New and Beginning Farmer/Rancher Mixer we’re co-sponsoring on Thursday, January 21 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Get to know the people who provide support to new farmers in the sustainable agriculture landscape. Meet other beginners and connect with resources, and link up with potential partners, landowners, and supporters...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 4, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy


The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a citizen advisory board that offers input to the National Organic Program on allowed materials and practices in certified organic production. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the NOSB meets twice a year to review organic materials and policies. Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed six new members to the NOSB who will begin serving their terms in 2016. The new NOSB members are: Jesse Buie (pictured), organic producer representative, a CCOF-certified farmer in Mississippi with a distinguished background in health care...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, December 18, 2015 on biodiversity, funding, grants, grower

Organic farmers and ranchers can sign up now for technical assistance and funding from two different programs. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to take land out of production and restore it with resource-conserving plant species. The Working Lands for Wildlife program offers funds to restore and protect habitat for greater sage grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Conservation Reserve Program Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is open through February 26, 2016. Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species such...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation


Do you want to live in a world where organic is the norm? We do too! At the CCOF Foundation, we train new organic farmers, support those who already farm organically, and remind shoppers why they should always buy certified organic. Over the course of 2015, we reached more than 135,000 organic farmers, teachers, students, and consumers. Here’s what we have achieved this year in our four program areas: Future Organic Farmer Grant FundWe make grants directly to students and teachers of organic agriculture. In 2015, we reached 4,500 teachers, students, and their families.  Organic Training...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2015 on rating system

Do you sell to Whole Foods? Are you interested in hearing more about and giving feedback on the Whole Foods Market (WFM) Responsibly Grown rating system? WFM is hosting a series of regional meetings around the United States in January, February, and March of 2016 to help growers and shippers understand their Responsibly Grown rating system. This is your chance to meet with the WFM Procurement Team for a discussion about the rating system for produce and flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rating system changes proposed for 2016 and provide feedback and input on the program...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF


Spread the holiday cheer by giving your favorite farmer or organic enthusiast the newest CCOF gear this season! We just added new hats to the shop to keep the sun out of your eyes in the field. Choose from our black trucker-style hat with a “Support Organic Farmers” patch, or our tan hat with the same slogan embroidered on the cap. Both hats are made in the U.S.A. with organic cotton, so they are gifts you can feel great about giving! If the hats aren't your style, show your support for organic farmers by sewing one of our new “Support Organic Farmers” patches onto your bag, coat, or overalls...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF

As you gather close to family this time of year, our staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed on the following dates: Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24 Christmas Day: Friday, December 25 New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1 We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return. Thank you for your support of organic in 2015! Happy holidays!
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Lyle McDonaldVeteran’s Sustainable...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 7, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Jessie MaierRogue Farm Corps FarmsNext...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 7, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, events

Join us for California FarmLink and CCOF’s Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession Conference An EcoFarm Pre-Conference: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA In 2016 California FarmLink and CCOF are launching the Organic Elders and the Next Generation Project. Together with organic industry partners, our organizations are planning a multi-year campaign to create farmland and business succession strategies for the agrarian elder-founders of California's organic agriculture movement, while also helping young...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Monday, December 7, 2015 on advocacy, policy, research, seeds

It is a challenge for organic growers in California to find seed varieties that perform well in organic conditions, due to the fact that most plant breeding has been done for conventional production. This need for organic-specific vegetable varieties is being addressed by a new organic plant breeding project at the University of California, Davis, funded by a federal Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant. The project will focus on developing organic tomato, bean, and pepper varieties. Cultivars will be developed on CCOF-certified organic land at UC Davis’s student farm. The plan is...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 30, 2015 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, State Organic Program

Since the implementation of the national organic standards in 2002, CCOF members have expressed concerns that the California State Organic Program (SOP) duplicates the fee and reporting requirements of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). In response to these concerns, CCOF wrote a comprehensive report in 2015 titled Review of the California State Organic Program. About the Report CCOF wrote the Review of the California State Organic Program in collaboration with an advisory committee to ensure input from a range of stakeholders, including organic producers, policy experts, and public...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 30, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. Visit our blog each week to meet another 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant winner. Sunyoung Yang University of California,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 23, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides, policy

CCOF, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and University of California Cooperative Extension are hosting a meeting on the invasive stinkbug Bagrada bug on Friday, December 11 at the Cooperative Extension office in Salinas from 9:30 a.m – 3 p.m. Click here to register for the meeting. The meeting is free of charge and will include lunch for onsite participants courtesy of CCOF and the University of California Cooperative Extension Entomology Program. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar, allowing remote participants the ability to hear all presentations and interact...

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