CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 16, 2017 on advocacy, general organic

Since passage of the California Organic Food and Farming Act in 2016, the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) has new responsibilities to support organic agriculture through education and outreach. COPAC’s traditional role, to oversee the State Organic Program and advise the Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic issues, continues.   The CCOF Policy Team is working to fully seat COPAC and encourages you to consider applying. COPAC has 15 primary members plus an alternate for each seat. Currently, there are one primary and eight alternate seats open on COPAC.   Being a...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 16, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Annon Blue is a sustainable agriculture and agroecology student at Appalachian State University. Growing up in rural North Carolina, she worked with livestock in community groups like 4-H and the National FFA Organization, which had a major impact on her plans for a career in agriculture. After discovering the world of sustainable farming and the community that Appalachian State University harbors for it, she decided to pursue a bachelor degree. Blue hopes to integrate sustainable and organic farming practices back into the community extension and youth development programs she grew up in and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 16, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jacob Schreiber   My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project plan is to purchase two of my father's organically-bred raised heifers to start my own herd.    My father has been raising organic beef for over 10 years. The beef is grass fed, and all the rations meet organic standards with the corn in the ration being organically grown. The beef is marketed as organically raised and most are sold privately to people who take them to the locker plant.    With two bred heifers due to calve in May of 2017, I will have a good start on my own herd. Because I can use my father's facilities and...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic


CCOF is deeply concerned about the impact the fires are having on many of our members in Northern California. In response to this devastating tragedy that has taken too many lives, homes, acres, and decades’ worth of work and devotion, CCOF is taking measures to help affected members.    CCOF is extending all organic compliance deadlines for operations in the Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties North Coast, recognizing that power outages and fire damage will affect immediate business operations for some days, weeks, or longer. We will reschedule inspections as needed. If you are affected...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 9, 2017 on advocacy, grower, standards

A bill just signed by California Governor Jerry Brown extended the deadline for cannabis growers to file documentation of their water source to October 31, 2017.    The new deadlines are specific to growers who plan to submit their growing license application to CalCannabis before January 1, 2019.   According to a message from the State Water Resources Control Board:   If you currently have a Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR), Permit, License, or plan on filing for an SIUR, the statutory deadlines below do not apply to you, but you will need to include appropriate documentation of your...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 9, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Mauricio Gonzalez was born to a farming family in Puebla, Mexico, where he would help his father every day after school. Gonzalez immigrated to the United States in 1992 and worked picking strawberries and on crews working with broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce between 1992-2004. Since 2004, he has been a manager in field production in these same crops. Gonzalez would like to continue his career in organic agriculture because it is his passion, one of the jobs he knows how to do best, and something he has done for many years. He would like to be the owner of his own agriculture business so...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, October 9, 2017 on CCOF, general organic

CCOF members overwhelmingly approved important updates and revisions to the CCOF organizational bylaws.   We would like to thank those who participated in CCOF’s recent bylaws amendment vote! 500 operations participated in this election, and 89 percent of voters approved the updates. Member participation in this process demonstrated commitment to the future of CCOF and how central our members are to the unique character and democratic structure of CCOF.    As a member-driven organization, producer voices guide and govern CCOF and ensure the organization accomplishes our mission to advance...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, regulatory, standards

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Jacksonville are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. The votes and discussions in Jacksonville will impact future organic standards and substances allowed in organic production.   In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the fall meeting:   Crop scope...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, funding

Sustainable Ag Priorities Included in Bond Measure   In the waning days of the California legislative session, the state legislature passed budget bills AB 109 and AB 134 to allocate $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade funding for fiscal year 2017-18. To the dismay of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) and a wide network of partners, the deal cut funding for the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). This is a huge setback for these trailblazing programs.   The Healthy Soils Program funds incentives and demonstration projects for...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on general organic, standards

USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) updated their resources for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic. Their organic resources have various resources such as guides, videos, fact sheets, webinars, booklets, and more.    NRCS’s newest booklet, Growing Organic: NRCS Assistance for Organic Farmers, provides a wealth of information for farmers who are interested in implementing practices that support soil health, weed management, habitat and biodiversity, irrigation and water management, pasture management, and high tunnels.   An updated guide for...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 2, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Shannon Good   I own a small organic dairy farm in Caledonia, Michigan. I am currently milking 40 Red and White Holstein cows, and I also have 70 heifers and dry cows. In March of 2015, my family's rental farm land was sold out from beneath us, and we had to sell almost all of our cows. However, we kept a small herd because I want to continue farming. In late fall 2015, my family and I decided to build a barn to support my Supervised Agricultural Experience project and re-install our double eight herringbone parlor. Now, I plan to expand in November of 2016 by adding more free stalls on the...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, September 25, 2017 on CCOF

The voting period for amendments to CCOF’s membership ends October 2, 2017.    Thank you to all who have already voted! Your vote in this important matter helps us accomplish our mission.   If you haven’t already, please check your mailbox or email inbox for these important materials. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws. The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters to include currently unrepresented members, improve board operations, and support growth of the CCOF Foundation.    About the Amendments   The amendments to the bylaws will...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 25, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, funding, general organic

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are grave reminders of the increasing devastation invoked by natural disasters. Now more than ever, farmers need access to immediate and long-term assistance to prepare for and recover from disasters. Each year, CCOF makes grants available to organic producers, processors, and handlers who have suffered financial losses due to natural disasters. During the past nine years, over 150 certified organic businesses across the country have received support from CCOF’s Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund to help alleviate financial stress due to flood, fire, illness,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, research, standards

On Monday, over 20 CCOF members throughout Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s (R CA-01) district signed a letter urging the congressman to support H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017.    The letter explains that organic farmers and ranchers work hard to produce their crops, livestock, and food products, but their sector needs more funding for organic agricultural research.    The Organic Agriculture Research Act will increase annual organic research funds in the farm bill up to $50 million. These funds will ensure that researchers have ongoing support for their organic research...
Written by Catherine Hsu on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, education, events


From left to right: Jessy Parr, Assistant Director, CCOF; Jonathan Houser, CCOF grant recipient; Melody Meyer, VP of Policy and Industry Relations, UNFI; Akello Karamoko, CCOF grant recipient; Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards, CCOF Board Chair and OTA Farmer of the Year; Emily Musgrave, Organic Specialist, Driscoll’s At this year’s Annual Natural Products Expo East, CCOF and UNFI gathered supporters to celebrate the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, CCOF Foundation’s program to advance organic agriculture through young organic farmers. At an intimate luncheon at Forno, organic business leaders...

Pages