CCOF Blog

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 25, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Interested in practicing or teaching organic agriculture, or know someone who is? Apply for a Future Organic Farmer Grant! Grants are available nationally for K-8 teachers with organic classroom projects through the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, and for higher education and vocational students studying organic agriculture. Over the last two years, the CCOF Foundation and partners have given away $150,000 in grants to students and teachers of organic agriculture across the United States. The CCOF Foundation will be offering grants in three educational categories in...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 25, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The spring 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. CCOF Certification Services President Jake Lewin will attend the in-person...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, April 25, 2016 on CCOF Foundation

Each year CCOF competes for a spot on the New Leaf Community Markets Envirotoken boards, and we need your vote! Every time a customer uses their own reusable shopping bag at New Leaf store locations, they are awarded a 10¢ envirotoken to donate to the local nonprofit of their choice on the board. To qualify for the boards, these nonprofits are required to maintain a goal of helping the environment and conserve resources. CCOF proudly adheres to this requirement. We are honored to have been included on these boards for many years and we need your help to remain a recipient of these donations....
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 25, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Klinger

Abby KlingerPennsylvania I will be growing sunflowers in order to make an organic, preservative-free sunflower oil. This grant will help me purchase a hand-cranked oil press. Depending on the size of my crop, I may also roast the seeds for sale. I am going to trial this project in my family's garden. After a couple of seasons, I plan to rent a field from a local farmer to increase production. In addition to growing the sunflowers and making sunflower oil, I plan to educate people about the health benefits associated with organic sunflower oil. I will host two informational seminars on the...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 18, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Gracie Lynn HauserWisconsin I currently grow vegetables in our small garden located on 13 acres of farmland. I am 16 years old, and my dad is a used car salesman and my mother teaches at a rural public school. I am involved in the FFA program and take courses in plant science, which allows me to work in our school’s two greenhouses and a high tunnel. My SAE plan is to construct a 12- by 24-foot greenhouse, start and grow organic plants, incorporate a two-acre garden and eventually begin a CSA in my town. This grant will provide the guts of my greenhouse, raised beds, and benches, along with...
Written by Valerie George and Jane Sooby on Monday, April 11, 2016 on advocacy, livestock, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) announced on April 7, 2016, that it will propose amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements. The proposed regulation, which is based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, is an effort to achieve consistency in organic livestock practices. It covers a range of topics including health care practices and living conditions for organic animals. Here are some of the highlights of the proposed rule: It sets forth separate living condition standards for mammals (e.g., cattle, sheep, and pigs) and poultry. It specifies...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 11, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Cody

Cody KealyKansas The plan for my Supervised Agriculture Experience project is to have a thriving organic beekeeping business. This will be my second year as a beekeeper. I have over one hundred people on a wait list to purchase my honey, pollen, and wax. At the moment I have four hives, where I currently keep Cordovan Italians and New World Carniolans. I am an organic beekeeper and I don’t use medication. I have fruit trees and a large garden that are great sources of food for the bees in the spring. There is also a reserve for native flowers around my property. Over the course of this year I...
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, April 11, 2016 on events, food safety

The event is sponsored by: Today is the last day to register for the Food Safety Workshop in Ojai–register now! With the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations rolling out and retailers increasingly demanding food safety plans, now is the time to focus on updating or creating a food safety plan that is in alignment with organic regulations. Join CCOF’s workshop in Ojai this Friday to learn more and get your questions answered. The Field-Level Introduction to Food Safety Workshop is aimed at helping producers better understand the components of field-level food safety plans....
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 11, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, events, get certification help, grower

Interested in going organic, but don’t know where to start? Organic certification is simpler than you think. Join CCOF, Lundberg Family Farms, and the Mushroom Farm in Pescadero, California for a workshop on what it takes to go organic. The workshop will help assess how close your operation is to being organic and will detail the steps necessary to transition towards certification. You will come away understanding the tenets of organic certification. Organic growers and advisors will answer questions about farming organically. The workshop will include a presentation from CCOF staff about the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 4, 2016 on advocacy, events, policy, State Organic Program

CCOF invites you to join an informational webinar on AB 1826—The California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA)—a bill introduced by California Assemblymember Mark Stone to level the playing field for California’s organic producers and update the role of the State Organic Program. CCOF’s Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo, Policy Director Kelly Damewood, and guest presenters will be available to answer your questions about AB 1826 during a free webinar on Tuesday, April 12, from 10-11 a.m. PDT. Participants will learn about the bill and CCOF’s strategy to pass it. Plus, find out what you can...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 4, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

Don’t miss out! Submit your feedback to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)1 before the April 14 deadline. NOSB will meet April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. to review organic materials and standards. During the April meeting, NOSB will review numerous materials, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. Your operation may be affected! To advocate on your behalf, CCOF will submit comments on materials and standards, but NOSB needs to hear from you, too! Advocate for and protect the integrity of organic standards by simply: Giving...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 4, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Matthea

Matthea BoatrightAlaska I live in Alaska, and, given our quick summer, built raised beds help lengthen the growing season. The two raised beds I now have for growing vegetables are falling apart and will not be usable for another year. The raised beds that I need to replace were made from cottonwood logs that we stood upright. All the moisture from the rain and snow has rotted away the wood and they have fallen over after only lasting a few years. This grant will make it possible for me to build two new raised beds using stone blocks, which are weatherproof and a lasting alternative to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

Spring has arrived and the next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is just around the corner! It’s time to submit comments on materials and weigh in on NOSB recommendations to the National Organic Program (NOP). Spring 2016 Meeting The next NOSB meeting will be April 25-27 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. NOSB is a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other representatives, which recommends changes and adjustments to organic standards to the USDA NOP. NOSB reviews all materials allowed in organic production on a five-year cycle, known as the...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 28, 2016 on rating system

Whole Foods Market has incorporated stakeholder feedback in adjustments it made to its Responsibly Grown Program. Whole Foods announced the adjustments in January and continues to move forward with improvements to the program.   About Responsibly Grown Responsibly Grown is a rating system used by Whole Foods Market to address agricultural challenges in the marketplace. The rating system accounts for soil health; air, energy and climate; waste reduction; farmworker welfare; water conservation and protection; ecosystems and biodiversity; and pest management. The Responsibly Grown program is...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy

After pulling some political shenanigans in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, committee chair Pat Roberts failed to gain the votes needed to move the anti-GMO labeling bill forward. The bill popularly known as the DARK Act—an acronym for Deny Americans the Right to Know—was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last year and forwarded to the Senate. The bill preempts states’ ability to require GMO labeling of food products and creates a voluntary labeling system. Political observers note that politicians are feeling pressure to pass legislation to head off implementation of...

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