CCOF Blog

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


If you’ve been reading the CCOF E-Newsletter for a while, you’re likely familiar with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has given more than $600,000 directly to students and teachers who are inspired to study organic. 100% of donations to the fund are given directly to the next generation of organic farmers and producers, made possible with the generosity of households, businesses, and foundations across the country.  Covilli Brand Organics was one of the Fund’s original Champion-level supporters in 2014, part of a group...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic


Black Lives Matter

Dear CCOF Family,  The unjust killing and systemic oppression of Black lives transcends politics—it speaks to the deepest core of our humanity.  We are deeply disturbed by the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and David McAtee. We understand that these are the most recent tragedies, and countless Black lives have been lost to racist violence in the United States.  Like all predominantly white communities, CCOF must grapple with its own role in systemic racism. Our agriculture and food systems are built on a history of racism,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 8, 2020 on general organic

The Agricultural Statistics Review released annually by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) includes organic data for the first time. The organic section of Agricultural Statistics Review reports producer, handler, and processor gross sales by county for 2018 and harvested acreage of 29 crop categories by county. Kern County was the top organic county in 2018 with over $782 million in sales. Monterey County was second with $480 million, and Fresno County third with $299 million. Collectively, California counties produced over $10 billion of organic agricultural products...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

Applications opened last week for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is a USDA program that will provide $16 billion in direct aid to farmers who suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications and payments will be processed through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  CCOF recognizes that this program has structural flaws that will prevent many of our members from accessing desperately-needed financial relief. We are working to advocate for improvements to this program. If you would like to contact us about your experience with CFAP, please email us at policy@...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, events, general organic, policy, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board) has released a draft Agricultural Order 4.0 to take the place of the existing order, which expires January 31, 2021. The Central Coast Water Board will hold three virtual workshops on June 2, June 3, and June 4 to explain the new Agricultural Order, review its monitoring and reporting requirements, and provide information about the draft environmental impact report. Links to join each workshop are listed below.  The workshops will be broadcast via Zoom, which may be accessed via computer or telephone. Attendees...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


I sat down with Farm to Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to discuss why organic matters with him. We dove right into CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges. From the climate crisis to economic and health inequities, I walked Wasson through organic’s role in addressing these issues, and more. Let’s consider climate change, for example. We know that organic farms combat climate change because they build healthy soils that store carbon and reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic

If you—or an organic producer you know—have experienced hardship during the 2020 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance through the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. The application deadline is midnight on Monday, May 25, 2020.   Throughout the nation, farmers are experiencing severe economic losses as the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather patterns, an increase in duration and number of natural disasters, and other financial challenges. Now, more than ever, organic producers need access to immediate and long-term financial support to prepare for and...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unique responses by federal, state, and local governments. This legislative update provides a brief snapshot of some key state and federal policy areas CCOF is monitoring.  USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program On Thursday, May 14, USDA hosted a webinar to introduce producers to the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar recording can be viewed via Zoom. USDA has said that it will release applications soon. The CFAP website has initial instructions to prepare producers to apply, including contacting your local...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, help and tips, marketing

We changed the date of our Innovative Direct Marketing Webinar for farmers. The new date for the webinar broadcast is May 26, 2020. Innovative direct marketing can keep your farm business viable in fast changing times. Join Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms on for a webinar on tools to increase your farm’s customer base and your revenue.  Collins, a long-time organic farmer and savvy marketing coach, will highlight techniques she’s used to draw in customers and maintain her business in an ever-changing market.  Learn how she quickly adapted her marketing to address COVID-19 restrictions by...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, help and tips, marketing, survey

Farmers are currently facing unprecedented challenges as supply chains quickly and radically change. Our local food systems can be strengthened by building consumer awareness of local farms using sustainable growing practices. Healthy PlanEat is a new online platform for farmers using sustainable growing practices to sell directly to local customers so people can have a healthy and sustainable diet. The platform enables farmers to create their own page, upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders from individuals and wholesale buyers. The platform will be launched...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

Organic researchers need your help in identifying the challenges that certified organic producers and transitioning organic producers face. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), and the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) created surveys that will help set their research priorities.  Certified organic farmers and ranchers can take the organic survey here:https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/organicproduction/. Farmers and ranchers who are transitioning to organic certification can take the transition survey here: https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance

Producers new to Farm Service Agency programs are encouraged to participate in this webinar.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).This webinar is an opportunity for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of signup. Producers interested in...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, general organic, we are essential


We Are Essential 051120

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that families value high quality, organic food. While the impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture has been uneven across sectors, the demand for some types of organic processed foods, such as pre-cut vegetable assortments and pantry staples, has increased as families search for healthy options while saying at home.  Beyond the health benefits, organic processed foods are an important part of California’s economy. The California Department of Public Health recently reported that organic processors made $15.5 billion in gross sales in 2019, a 17 percent...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, marketing

Join the CCOF Foundation and Hannah Muller from Full Belly Farm on May 19 for a webinar that delves into social media marketing for farms selling directly to consumers.  Use social media platforms to grow your business! This webinar will review key considerations for developing a social media plan, such as how and what to post to target specific audiences, how to create hashtags that help increase your outreach, and how to turn followers into consumers. Muller will explain why social media is an important tool to use to tell the story of your farm and brand. She will show-and-tell what has...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Forer

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant recipient Jack Sporer has officially become a small business owner. Sporer launched his own wine label in April 2020, Fresh Wine Company. A brand he calls “wine for the people,” its release comes just in time to satisfy an upswing in demand during stay at home orders enacted across the state of California.     Sporer’s wine focuses on carbon sequestration at each step. They are using lighter bottles, alternative packaging, and connecting local networks of consumers and suppliers to keep his community supported. Sporer’s efforts build integrity and...

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