From Field to Forum

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund - Direct Financial Assistance for Organic Producers   We are concerned about our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and fires in California, not to mention the numerous other natural disasters in last year. CCOF responds to crises such as these each year by offering financial assistance to organic producers. If you—or an organic professional you know—has experienced hardship during the 2017 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance from the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. CCOF is...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 20, 2017 on events, policy


Last week, CCOF hosted a farm tour for the California State Legislature to highlight the challenges and opportunities for organic agriculture. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA-04) and legislative staff joined Paul Underhill at Terra Firma Farm and Thaddeus Barsotti at Capay Organic Farm. While the tour highlighted the multiple environmental and economic benefits of organic agriculture, it also clearly demonstrated the immense regulatory pressures organic farmers are struggling with today.    Underhill began the tour of Terra Firma Farm by broadly introducing organic and showing real-...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, regulatory

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released long-anticipated rules restricting pesticide applications close to public schools and daycare facilities.    The new rules require that pesticides using aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or applied as a dust, powder, or fumigant between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday be located at least ¼ mile from schools.    At least 25-foot distance is required when application is made via ground-rig sprayer, soil injection equipment, or other types of applications including drip or flood chemigation.    There are no...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF, general organic

Joshua Dransfield’s (2016 and 2017 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient) family farm was recently featured in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. The Dransfields run Windsprings Farm, a small organic dairy in Gapmills, West Virginia. With the assistance of Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, the Dransfield family started their transition to organic four years ago. The years of transition were challenging for the Dransfields. Organic feed was hard to source in the area and the amount of time it takes to get certified required time and resources. Thanks to support from other organic dairy...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jessica Grathwoh Boonville   I began my aquaponics Supervised Agricultural Experience for my agriscience project in August 2016. Currently, I have a 30-gallon tank with 20 goldfish, one flood table with clay pellets, and 78 lettuce heads planted. I plan to expand to using two flood tables, doubling the amount of fish, and testing which varieties of lettuce grow the best and the fastest. After my experiment concludes in April 2017, I will continue to grow different items for my family's use and for sale. Because aquaponics is gaining in popularity due to its organic properties, I see this...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 6, 2017 on events, grower

Are you looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California?    Each winter, the CCOF Foundation runs a tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, connecting organic growers with buyers who specialize in organic produce. Tour participants visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.    This tour sells out early every year, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF website to find...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events

The CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide grants to high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last four years. This year, Foundation staff member Josaphine Stevenson attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first time. The Convention and Expo were attended by 64,000 FFA students from throughout the nation.   We were inspired by the students’ energy and enthusiasm for agriculture. Stevenson also had the opportunity to meet and visit with several of the amazing students who...
Written by Catherine Hsu on Monday, October 30, 2017 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events

Join CCOF and Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross on December 13, 2017 at the CCOF Foundation’s We Are Organic Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. We will recognize the Foundation’s accomplishments and your role in making them possible!   The CCOF Foundation advances organic agriculture for a healthy world by educating future organic farmers, helping consumers understand organic, assisting organic farmers in need, and providing training for organic professionals. At this dinner, we’ll hear from Secretary of the California Department of Food Agriculture Karen...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, October 30, 2017 on general organic, grower, handler, marketing

Need to restock your supply of produce stickers or twist ties that identify your products as CCOF-certified organic? Want to gift an organic garden sign to a loved one this holiday season? Looking for a new hat to keep next summer’s sun out of your eyes? Now’s the time to make your purchases from the CCOF store!    From November 1 until December 31, 2017, enjoy our gift of 15% off all CCOF merchandise in the CCOF Store! Enter code GIFT15 at checkout to apply the discount to your order. 
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 30, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Michael Bair    My family owns an organic dairy, but I want to find my own part in our organic farm: Michael’s Pastured Poultry. I need to design and build a pen that will be portable so I can move the meat chickens throughout the pasture, and I need a freezer that will store my processed chickens that are waiting for pick-up. I must follow organic rules and be separate from my family’s organic farm sales. I have the financial resources to purchase chickens and supplies, and I also have a buyer for my chicken, a local health food store. I plan to reinvest my profits to keep the enterprise...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, October 23, 2017 on CCOF, financial assistance, general organic

CCOF is terribly saddened by the extensive and profound ways in which thousands of people have been affected by the fires. We are also inspired by the overwhelming compassion, community effort, and solidarity in the face of such adversity.  While we are working one-on-one with many affected CCOF clients—some of whom are experiencing severe to total losses—our hope for recovery continues to strengthen as we are also getting an incredible wave of people who are looking to help their fellow growers, producers, and ranchers.     CCOF wants to continue serving as a communication hub for folks to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, grower, handler, materials, NOSB, standards

CCOF submitted 11 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2017 NOSB meeting.   NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall, the meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from October 31 through November 2, 2017.   At the meeting in Jacksonville, the board will complete the 2019 Sunset Reviews on 43 substances listed on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will vote to relist the substances on the National List or...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, research

The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) released their 2017 agricultural labor availability survey results in a report titled Searching for Solutions: California Farmer Continue to Struggle with Employee Shortages. The report includes data from 762 farmers and ranchers throughout California and its findings are consistent with a 2012 CFBF labor survey.   The report shows that 55 percent of responding farmers experienced employee shortages during the summer of 2017. A majority of farmers reported that they were unable to recruit up to 50 percent of their seasonal workforce needs, with 15...

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