CCOF Blog

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Washington Middle School Salinas, California This year, all the pea plants in the school garden were killed by birds, but birds can be both an asset and hinderance for organic gardeners. While some birds damage crops by eating them, there are many others that help control insect pests that damage crops. Using our school garden as the model for an organic farm, students explored the impact of birds on organic crops through direct observation, data collection, and research into various species’ natural history. Students then researched bird behavior and designed and tested different non-lethal...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, international

In May 2017, Phil LaRocca, chair of the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors, and Allen Harthorn, chair of the CCOF Foundation Board of Trustees, participated in the National Co+Op Grocers’ tour of a cooperatively managed fair trade vineyard in La Rioja, Argentina.    The La Riojana cooperative is working with the National Co+Op Grocers and the CCOF Foundation to help transition their grapes into organic production. LaRocca and Harthorn were brought to tour the facilities and meet with farmers and witness the project firsthand. In addition to making wine and olive oil, La Riojana also built and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA).    CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert.    Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their annual...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

Crop producers who attend the 2018 EcoFarm Conference in January are in for an abundance of relevant subject matter to help with crop planning, plant and soil nutrition, and other production and marketing subjects. We’ve highlighted few choices to get you started.   Organic Flower Production will open up a whole new realm for growers looking to diversify from vegetables or who enjoy being surrounded by beautiful blooms. Flowers are not only gorgeous and satisfying to produce, but they preserve biological diversity for pollinators and insects who feed on nectar and pollen. They are a great...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on food safety, general organic, international, organic market, research

Asia is showing some of the highest growth in the global organic food market. New research by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) shows that some Asian countries’ markets are reporting double-digit growth rates, with regional sales poised to reach $10 billion in the coming years.    As will be shown at the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit, two of the fastest growing markets for organic products are in China and India. Growing awareness of organic production methods and rising disposable incomes are fueling demand for organic and sustainable foods.     Concerns...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Pleasant Hill Elementary SchoolDesoto County, Mississippi The best part of our “Field of Dreams…Vermicomposting Project” was that students got to see how excited members of our community were to help them. Elected city officials, employees, and local business owners all expressed their excitement that we were working to turn waste into garden gold. Not only do we have our vermicomposting project from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund and California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Look at Agriculture... Organically!” grant, but the city of Olive Branch also brought us enough...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events, policy, water

The California State Water Board will host workshops across the state to assist cannabis cultivators with the enrollment process of the Cannabis General Order (General Waste Discharge Requirements and Waiver for Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities) and to obtain water rights under the Cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR) program.   Each workshop is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. with the following agenda:  Policy Overview 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break for Lunch (on your own) 12:00 – 1:00 p.m...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 11, 2017 on member news, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently announced awards to 12 CCOF-certified organic farms through the CDFA Healthy Soils Program.    The Healthy Soils Program is an incentives program that funds climate-smart farming practices, which are practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Demonstration program recipients will implement conservation practices and convene public events to share outcomes with the community.   For the 2017 grant cycle, CDFA awarded $5.23 million to 86 recipients, including 12 CCOF-certified farms. Awardees will...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 11, 2017 on CCOF

As you gather close to family this time of year, our staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed on the following dates: Monday, December 25 – Monday, December 29 New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1   We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return.   Thank you for your support of organic in 2017! Happy holidays!  
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Water Board is accepting comment on a second draft of the agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed through Friday, December 22, 2017, at noon.    CCOF strongly encourages organic growers from all regions of California to comment because this order will likely be replicated throughout the state. The requirements in the order could have significant costs and impacts for all growers because they will be required to report a large amount of detailed information annually, including data on nitrogen applications and crop yields.   What Is an Agricultural...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events

Following the success of the previous seven editions, Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor) is announcing the agenda of the North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit. Taking place in San Francisco on January 30 and 31, 2018, the executive summit will feature sessions on the health impacts of sustainable foods, food ingredients, and organic and eco-labels.   The two-day summit will bring together leading organizations involved in eco-labels and sustainability in the regional food industry. There are four distinct sessions that will cover the following topics:...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Pacific Elementary SchoolDavenport, California This March, we planted seven apple trees and one persimmon tree with transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, fifth, and sixth grade classes all taking part in the process. In November, we had CCOF board members visit for lunch and visit with our fifth and sixth grade classes. We purchased two citrus trees, fencing, irrigation and received a donated avocado tree. Our eventual goal is to have students harvest fruit for our student’s meal and snack program. Thank you to Pacific Elementary School for sharing your organic project!...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 4, 2017 on general organic, grower

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation's producers this week. The census response deadline is February 5, 2018.   Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.   "The Census of...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Lokelani Intermediate SchoolKihei, Hawaii At the start of the semester, when I asked my students to describe what the word “organic” means, most couldn’t do so. Many students were familiar with the word, mentioning that their parents purchase organic products like milk and eggs. Amazingly though, they couldn’t really explain what the label organic meant and/or the benefits it offered. By participating in these three different hands on projects—vermiculture, companion planting, and aquaponics—my students’ understanding of organic agriculture has greatly improved. Each project in its own way...

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