CCOF Blog

Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association for the organic community in North America. OTA has a crucial presence in Washington D.C. and is influential in the development of federal organic policies. OTA’s members work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect farming practices and to share the benefits of organic with consumers, media, and policymakers. Working together with OTA allows CCOF to join with other farmers, processors, handlers, and stakeholders to advocate nationally for the organic principles we all...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 17, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Krueger

Alicia Krueger has worked on her parent's conventional dairy farm from the time she was old enough to hand towels and feed calves. During high school, Krueger was vice president of her National FFA Organization chapter. After graduating, she took agribussiness/agriscience classes as well as a Dairy Herd Management classes, both through Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College. In December 2015, Krueger returned to her family farm, which became certified organic in 2009, and has been there ever since.  Kruger plans to continue to work on her parents’ organic dairy farm part-time and work full-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF, member news

CCOF recently assisted National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz with identifying organic farms for aerial photos to accompany an article titled “We don’t have enough organic farms. Why not?” by journalist Rachel Cernansky. The article describes the growth of organic agriculture in the United States and the challenges faced by organic farmers. With the support of CCOF and other organic organizations, the article featured photos from organic farms across the country, including Alexandre Family Farms, Driscoll’s, Woodspur Farms, Earthbound Farms, and McEvoy Ranch. Read the full article...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers

In the future, Danielle Haefner hopes to take over managing a small ag operation on her family's farmland in Wisconsin. While the land has been in her family for four generations, Haefner’s great-grandfather was the only family member to focus on agriculture. When he stopped raising black angus in the early 1970s, the farm was transitioned to large scale row crop production. Haefner would like to be the force that changes the path of this land for the better. She believes it needs to be holistically tended to and revived and she would like to do this by rotationally grazing a small-scale...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, member news

Peterson Family Farms and Three Sisters Organic are featured farmers in a new television documentary series called “Beyond the Harvest.” The series explores the farm to table phenomenon and highlights businesses in California’s Central Valley.  The series will air for 13 weeks in Fresno, Chico, Redding, and Bakersfield. Episodes will also be released online. The broadcast schedule is available online. The first episode of the series highlights Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms. The series’ host Ray O’Canto explores the Peterson Family Farms orchards and packing facility following...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 3, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Elda Garcia

Elda Garcia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but grew up in Puerto Vallarta. She has fond memories of working on her grandmother’s watermelon farm over the summers during her youth. At age 20, Garcia immigrated to the United States. Like many newly arrived immigrants in California, she found work in agriculture. The first crops that she worked with were peas and lettuce.  Always wanting to learn more, Garcia obtained her associate degree from Hartnell Community College, then a bachelor’s degree in world languages and cultures from California State University, Monterey Bay. Later she obtained...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 26, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, member news

Lundberg Family Farms has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers, and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states. The award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and California Farm Bureau Federation. Lundberg Family Farms of Butte County will receive a $10...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Matthew Keesling

Matthew Keesling is new to the agriculture industry.  After serving in the United States Army, he decided that he wants to continue the culture of family farms and sustainable agriculture and pass this life choice on to his children and the next generation.  Keesling has operated a small hobby farm in Kansas for six years, always being organic and a steward of the land and environment. He is a leader in 4-H programs focused on forestry and conservation efforts. Keesling also works on an organic family dairy farm in Wisconsin and plans to continue this practice in either the dairy or beef...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Quality Control Board is holding a series of stakeholder meetings in Watsonville, Salinas, and Santa Maria next week to update the public on the next version of the region’s agricultural order and to gather public comment. The Central Coast Water Board needs to hear from farmers, particularly organic farmers, about the steps they already take to reduce nitrogen application and protect water quality. The board also needs to hear farmers’ ideas on how to reduce ground and surface water impairment without creating an overly burdensome regulatory structure. Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 19, 2018 on marketing, policy

USDA implemented the new California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) on November 1, 2018. FMMOs are voluntary, industry-driven marketing initiatives that establish the terms of trade between farmers and the first buyer of milk. FMMOs also develop minimum milk prices based on market values with respect to supply and demand conditions. California dairy producers voted to approve the FMMO in June 2018. The order required at least a two-thirds vote from all dairy producers in California.  California organic producers are not exempted from the FMMO. Organic producers are exempted from some...

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