CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

In early October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1409 into law. SB 1409 removes barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp, increase access to hemp seed, and more.  CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because it would expand hemp production in California and open the possibility for organic certification of California hemp. The authorized hemp pilot program would align with the National Organic Program (NOP...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, October 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

The CCOF Foundation offers grants to students and teachers of organic agriculture across the country. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has granted over half a million dollars, impacting more than 30,000 students and teachers of organic agriculture. This year, one of the Fund’s newest supporters is Blue Marble Brands, joining CCOF’s mission all the way from Providence, Rhode Island.   Last fall, Blue Marble supported CCOF through its Plant the Seed: Eat. Learn. Grow Organic retail promotion, created to help educate consumers about the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund and its...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Wiemer

Joshua Wiemer’s goal is to continue working on his family’s organic dairy farm after graduating college and purchase it from his parents when they retire. Wiemer’s experience growing up on a farm, working with his parents and siblings, taking care of the animals, planting and harvesting crops, and being involved with the environment made him realize he wants to work in agriculture as a career. His decision to become a farmer was reinforced when Wiemer took over daily operations for while his father recovered from double knee replacement surgery. This experience opened his eyes to the...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


Sophia Soctt 3

In partnership with the Organic Produce Network, the CCOF Foundation is hosting its annual "We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit, December 12, 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center.  In addition to comments and speeches from organic industry leaders and Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient Rhyne Cureton, this year’s dinner marks the first at which live music will accompany the 100% organic menu.   Sophia Scott, budding country music artist, has confirmed she will join the CCOF Foundation as its honored musical guest for the “We Are Organic” Dinner.   Musical guest Scott’...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on financial assistance, NOSB, policy

CCOF is committed to helping producers attend National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings by providing scholarships to cover the costs of travel and lodging.  Scholarships are currently available for the upcoming NOSB meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018.  To apply for the scholarship, please complete and submit the application to pnell@ccof.org by Friday, October 12, 2018. At their fall meeting, NOSB will vote to relist the 2020 Sunset Review materials to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA

Since 2014, the CCOF Foundation and its partners have awarded $1,000 grants through the National FFA to middle and high school students (grades 7 through 12) to conduct an organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). The CCOF Foundation, in partnership with National FFA, awarded $100,000 dollars in the past 4 years to support FFA students throughout the nation! Applications are available through the National FFA Organization and are due November 15, 2018.  Previous recipient Hunter Blanton used his grant to install vermicomposting towers into her grandfather’s organic greenhouse and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Assembly Bill 2377, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today. This bill funds technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture. “As California continues to lead the way in climate change, it’s imperative that we assist all industries so that they adopt practices that will help achieve our climate goals,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “I’m grateful that the governor saw the need to improve these programs as a vital piece of hitting our climate objectives.” California...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in St. Paul on October 24-26, 2018. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in St. Paul.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 16, 2018 and October 18, 2018 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 4, 2018. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in St. Paul. In-person commenters must register...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on food safety, water

Are you looking for more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) agricultural production water requirements for produce farms? Have you heard that you may need to test your irrigation water to comply with FSMA, but aren’t sure what is the best way to go about doing it?  Join the CCOF Foundation and the Western Center for Food Safety on October 10 for a webinar that highlights practical guidelines on how to get ready for the agricultural production water requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Learn microbiology basics to help you better understand the water requirements...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 1, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Julia Reese

Julia Reese was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. Growing up, she spent a significant amount of time working with her dad in organic fruit and nut orchards. She gained an appreciation for the industry and decided she wanted to be involved in it in the future.  Reese currently attends the University of Idaho, where she studies agricultural systems management and civil engineering. She is on the dean’s list, is a member the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, serves as vice president of the cycling club, and works for Crop Matters, an agricultural contract research company...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 24, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota 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.Click here to read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews).Crop scope substances:Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanolSodium carbonate peroxyhydrateNewspaper...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 24, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Dylan

My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is organic vegetable production. My garden currently produces 200 pounds of produce each summer, and I recently expanded my garden to include shiitake mushrooms. My mushrooms gave me 15 pounds of produce this past summer.  I'd like to increase my mushroom production so I can sell at the local farmers’ market. I can use the logs for approximately six years and after a one year wait for the first crop, I will be able to harvest mushrooms twice a year. The profit over six years will allow for replacement logs, thus sustaining my SAE. ...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, standards


Ask Me About What's Not in Organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week that lists hundreds of chemicals and processes used in conventional food production that are prohibited in organic. The list includes the use of GMOs, glyphosate, sewage sludge, artificial preservatives, irradiation, and more.  The ad is in response to the Wall Street Journal running an opinion editorial making false claims about organic. CCOF board member and certified organic farmer Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics submitted a letter to the editor responding to the claims made in the...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, September 17, 2018 on food safety, general organic, inspection

Organic producers are busy and have a lot going on, especially during harvest. Overlapping regulations and requirements for a modern farm and all the inspections that result have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue.” Since the inception of CCOF’s food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined food safety and organic inspection to reduce the amount of time these inspections take them away from what they love to do: work their farms.  CCOF, an organization that is governed by a board of organic producers, heard you loud and clear. We began cross-training GlobalG.A.P...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

CCOF joined with 27 diverse organizations to request that the Senate and House agriculture committee leadership include provisions supporting urban agriculture in the 2018 Farm Bill. CCOF supports expanding resources for farmers, and urban agriculture is a growing sector that increases opportunities for local organic foods in metropolitan areas. The letter notes that expanding support for urban agriculture will create economic opportunities and inspire a new generation of young and beginning farmers.  The letter requests that the farm bill require USDA create the Office of Urban Agriculture...

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