CCOF Blog

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 25, 2017 on general organic, grower

The National Center for Appropriate Technology is conducting a national survey of needs and attitudes about crop insurance. Confidential and anonymous, the survey takes just 20 minutes on any computer, smart phone, or other mobile device. It’s open to anyone who is farming and ranching commercially in the United States, and you’ll receive a $20 honorarium for your participation.    Take the survey at www.ncat.org/cropinsurance.   Background: Organic growers have long had limited crop insurance options, putting them at a disadvantage in relation to conventional farms and discouraging many who...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 25, 2017 on education, grower

Results of the newly released 2016 Certified Organic Survey provide numerous indicators of organic’s continuing growth trajectory in the United States.   Organic farms in the United States produced and sold $7.6 billion worth of organic products in 2016, a 23 percent increase from 2015 organic sales. Organic farm numbers increased 11 percent to 14,217 certified organic farms and ranches, and organic acreage grew by 15 percent to 5 million acres.   Once again, California is the top organic state in terms of organic sales, farm numbers, and acreage.  In 2016, California produced 38 percent of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Jacksonville, Florida October 31 through November 2, 2017.    Organic stakeholders can now register to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Jacksonville.    The NOSB will host an online webinar on October 24, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 11, 2017. If all speaking slots are taken, NOSB will host an additional webinar on October 26, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 25, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Haleigh Jones is an agriculture and environmental plant science major at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo. She was born and raised on the Central Coast of California in the Santa Maria Valley. Growing up, Jones was surrounded by conventional farming—as it is a huge part of the local economy—and she never really questioned the production techniques being practiced until she was introduced to organic farming. Jones’ first ever farm job was on an organic farm as a production intern. Her experience on the farm was eye opening, and she fell in love with the practice. When...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, NOP

Last week, the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy announced his retirement in a letter to the organic community.    In his letter, McEvoy gives deep appreciation to each level of the organic food chain. He highlights his top ten list of accomplishments at NOP which includes: Developing a quality management system for NOP that improves program consistency and effectiveness. Improving the communication and transparency of NOP. Developing the NOP Handbook and implementing the Sound and Sensible certification process. Ensuring that all accreditation audits were...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, standards

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a lawsuit against USDA over its delay of the implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    OTA’s lawsuit alleges that: USDA violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it delayed OLPP without any public process and also violated the same act by abusing its discretion by proposing action to indefinitely delay or shelve the rule; USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act and its consultation provisions where industry and public stakeholders can revise, refine, and advance organic standards via the well-defined...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, materials, NOSB, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the meeting materials for their upcoming fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.    NOSB will discuss: Compliance, Accreditation, & Certification Subcommittee: o Proposal: Eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production o Proposal: Excluded operations in the supply chain (uncertified handlers) Crops Subcommittee: o Crops 2019 Sunset Reviews o Proposal: Petition - Fatty alcohols (octanol/decanol mix) o Proposal: Petition - Anaerobic Digestate o Proposal: Strengthening the organic seed guidance (NOP 5029)...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, events, grower, handler

  Organic Grower Summit 2017 December 13-14Hyatt Regency Monterey Costco announced their commitment to participate in the inaugural Organic Grower Summit (OGS) this coming December in Monterey, California. With annual fresh produce sales of $4 billion, Costco will sponsor a half-day event providing certified organic farmers and growers the opportunity to meet with Costco buyers The confirmation of Costco's commitment to meet with organic growers comes on the heels of all exhibit booths for the event being sold out last week.   The first ever OGS, a joint production between CCOF and Organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, financial assistance, general organic, grower

Scholarship applications are now being accepted to attend the 30th annual California Small Farm Conference (CSFC), an educational and networking event for farmers, ranchers, and farmers’ market managers that will be held at the Robert J. Cabral Ag Center in Stockton, California on October 29-30, 2017.    Keynote speakers at the conference will be Carl Rosato and Helen Atthowe and the young couple who succeeded them on Woodleaf Farm, Danny Lazzarini and Andrew Seidman. Other sessions include Creative Financing Strategies for Sustainable Farmland Succession, CSA Resiliency in a Changing...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

USDA and the National Center for Appropriate Techonology (NCAT) will host the third annual Latino Farmer Conference on November 7, 2017, in Palm Desert, California. The conference is open to all farmers and ranchers, and will be presented in Spanish with English translation provided via translation headsets. The conference aims to bring the Latino farming community, the agricultural industry and agribusiness, and advocates for sustainability together for workshops and networking.   Registration is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, general organic, grower, research, water

Duke University (Duke) is leading a three year study in partnership with RTI International (RTI), Pacific Institute, and California State University in Bakersfield (CSU-B) to study the use of oilfield produced water as an alternative irrigation water source for crop irrigation. The study is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and began in May 2017.     Please contact us if you would like to be included as a participant in our study to optimize safe, sustainable use of alternative irrigation water sources for crop irrigation. We would like to enroll...

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