CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

It’s time to put organic food on more kids’ plates, and the California legislature may be willing to help. California Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s new bill, AB 958, will create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program. The pilot program will help qualifying school districts purchase organic food, offering up to 15 cents per meal. If successful, the bill will bring more organic food to California’s schools, which is great for the health of our children, a win for climate, and a boost for innovative farming communities growing food without toxic pesticides. California is the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on events, general organic

In celebrating the tradition and innovation of the State’s number one industry, agriculture, the California State Fair Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of the Agricultural Advisory Council, selects Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) as Agriculturalist of the Year.  The Agriculturalist of the Year award is presented to an individual who has contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry. Award criteria stipulates this individual must have demonstrated leadership and clearly represented the...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its second annual meeting in Seattle, Washington on April 24-26, 2019. The board will vote to retain or remove substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and will also vote on proposals and discussion documents.  The deadline to submit written comments is April 4, 2019. Commenting will open when the meeting materials are released (approximately six weeks before the meeting). The deadline to submit oral comments via webinar or in person in Washington is also April 4, 2019. Registration for the oral comments...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on biodiversity, events, pests and pesticides


Oak Titmouse.N.Uyeda

Oak Titmouse photo by Norman Uyeda Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce four upcoming field days as part of our All Things Avian Series.  Farmers, expand your tool box by adding birds as pest control allies on your farm. Learn how to take advantage of a multitude of beneficial birds that provide pest control services year-round, and to manage the few birds that may become pests later.  Farmer to Farmer Field Days in Northern CaliforniaMarch 19 – Chamberlain Farms, Woodland, CA, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.March 21 – Tres Sabores Vineyard (CCOF-certified), St. Helena, CA...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


El Vista Elementary School

Third through sixth grade students at El Vista School received a grant to learn about organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. They compared the look, taste, and smell of the fruit and vegetables, researched both farming practices, and visited a conventional farm and an organic farm. Ninety eight percent of El Vista School’s student body receives reduced or free lunch and many of its students do not get the chance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though they live in a farming region. This project gave students the opportunity to see the difference between organic and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, research


Roadmap

 CCOF is excited to release a new contribution to the scientific literature, Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, which distills the findings of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies into a captivating and beautifully illustrated read.  The Benefits Report presents clear evidence that organic agriculture is more than a system of food production; it is a comprehensive approach to solving the issues threatening California’s long-term security and prosperity.  “Organic food production is an opportunity to stimulate the state’s economy, promote public health, and protect...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF.  Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic. During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation. Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Prior to CCOF, Cathy served two terms as...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Bonterra Barn_Photo Credit Sara Matthews Photography

Photo courtesy Sara MatthewsLast December 2018, the CCOF Foundation hosted its largest-ever benefit dinner, with nearly 250 of CCOF’s closest friends and supporters coming together in Monterey, California. The dinner, part of the larger Organic Grower Summit co-hosted by CCOF and the Organic Produce Network, aimed to draw awareness to the programs of the CCOF Foundation, and to bring together a group of like-minded individuals to celebrate the students, teachers, and donors who make the work of the CCOF Foundation possible. There were also some fantastic adult beverages available to those...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Ely Memorial School Cucumber check

Students from Washington Elementary learned about beekeeping from a local beekeeper. The project began with a presentation during the Arthropoda section of the science class. Forty students learned about the activities of the Ely Area Bee Club as well as scientific facts about bees. Participating students visited the apiary for weekly hive checks. Although the club's hives did not produce enough honey to harvest this year, the students were taught how to harvest honey during a Save the Bees weekend course given by the Ely Folk School. Students helped sell honey at the Ely Farmers' Market. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 25, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety, general organic, research

The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is now taking effect for California farmers. A new survey, funded by the USDA, promises to give a clearer picture of what this means for the industry. Farmers have voiced concerns over the costs and challenges of complying with the Rule since it was first announced. However, there is still too little hard evidence on the true distribution and severity of these challenges. Both farmers and government agencies need concrete statistics on where California farmers stand with respect to the Rule and how much they’...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic


Monarch

California agricultural producers can voluntarily help the monarch butterfly on their farms and ranches through a variety of conservation practices offered by the USDA.  “With the monarch butterfly’s western population in peril, we’re encouraging California producers to make simple tweaks on their farms that can go a long way for this iconic species,” said Carlos Suarez, state conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California. “NRCS offers more than three dozen conservation practices that enable producers to help monarchs and other pollinators as well as...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, policy


California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force.  CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, member news

Join us for the annual CCOF Processor/Handler Chapter meeting in Fresno, California, on February 27, 2019, at 3:40 p.m. Pacific Time.This meeting is being held at the DoubleTree Hilton at the end of the CCOF Annual Conference. Learn more about the full conference.*If you cannot join the chapter meeting in person you can do so remotely via GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting Virtual Attendance RegistrationProcessor/Handler Chapter Meeting Agenda:Chapter businessCall for chapter officer nominationsGuest speaker on building your brand through social media Our guest speaker, Summer Ashley Singletary, Co-...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until April 16, 2019, via www.regulations.gov under Docket Number AMS-NOP-18- 0051.Proposed reclassification of magnesium chloride as nonsyntheticMagnesium chloride derived from sea water is currently listed at §...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research, survey


Herbicides in Irrigation Water

Protecting our CCOF-certified organic farm from external herbicide contamination has been an ongoing challenge. For over forty years, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), our local water purveyor, has used herbicides to manage the unlined ditches that bring our irrigation water.We believe the time has come to stop the application of elemental copper- and glyphosate-based herbicides to raw water canals statewide. To this end, we ask to draw on the experience of California’s certified organic farmers to learn more about other irrigation districts throughout the state. Does your water purveyor...

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