CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 1, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting in Seattle, Washington 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.  Crop scope substances:Ash from manure burningFerric phosphateHydrogen chlorideHydrogen peroxideMagnesium sulfateOils, horticultural (Narrow range oils)PheromonesPotassium bicarbonateSoaps,...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vista Verde Middle School

Vista Verde Middle School used grant funds to construct an outdoor lab to teach students organic agricultural practices (land sustainability, soil management, and how to support healthy aquifers) and how to reduce their carbon footprint (reuse, recycle, repurpose). Students reported a sense of empowerment in knowing that they could plant and maintain a garden without the use of herbicides or pesticides and yet produce food that looks just like grocery store food. Nutrient cycling through use of compost bins enabled students to see how they can use and reuse—that nothing gets thrown away....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 25, 2019 on food safety, general organic


FSMA

Food safety inspections on produce farms are beginning this month, but there are still questions as to what the first round of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule inspections will look like. The fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be regulating farms for the first time is concerning for many produce farmers who have never interacted with FDA before on a regular basis. Adding to the anxiety for some producers, is the fact that this will be the first time in history that they will have to deal with regular inspections on their farm.  In order to help...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic


flood

Late winter storms immediately followed by warm spring weather has caused record flooding in much of the Midwest, including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The consequences have been catastrophic for family farmers and ranchers in the region; just in Nebraska, the cost to agriculture is estimated at $1 billion. These expenses are due in large part to crop loss, livestock deaths, and building damage. But even farmers who have been able to salvage their products face significant barriers to storing or selling them because entire portions of critical...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second meeting of the year in Seattle on April 24-26, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Seattle.  The NOSB will host two webinars: the first on April 16, 2019, and the second on April 18, 2019, both from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Those interested in the webinars must register before April 4, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, general organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is accepting nominations for its annual Organic Leadership Awards. Nominations are due by April 30, 2019, for the prestigious Organic Farmer of the Year, Rising Star, and the Growing the Organic Community awards. The honorees will be celebrated at OTA’s Leadership Awards Celebration on September 11, 2019, to kick off Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland.  Last year, CCOF members Stephanie and Blake Alexandre of Alexandre Family Farms were honored with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award. The Alexandres were recognized for their exemplary...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on general organic, NOSB, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The deadline to submit nominations is May 17, 2019. Nominations must include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership which includes having a general understanding of organic principles, practical experience in the organic community, demonstrated experience in the development of public policy, participation in standard development, and more. NOSB members are volunteers who are appointed by USDA for five-year terms....
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vermont School for Girls

VPI South, Vermont School for Girls is a nonprofit therapeutic school for girls ages 8 through 18 with complex trauma. They used grant funding to install an organic aromatherapy herbal garden and sensory pathway. The school’s goal was to add another level of healing for their students. After installing the sensory garden, the girls were able to visualize even more opportunities for organic living. They brainstormed what this would look like and used remaining funds to install an aquaponic system where fish waste will nourish the organic plants grown for aromatherapy. Students now go to this...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Not sure what the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) means for your small or medium-sized organic farm? Join the CCOF Foundation and Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on March 27 for a webinar that clarifies the basic FSMA requirements for small and medium-sized produce farms.  Produce farms in California are subject to FSMA inspections by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Even if your farm qualifies for an exemption from FSMA, you still need to keep records to prove that you qualify for the exemption. A FSMA inspector may request...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 18, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on April 24-26, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-18-0071-0001 until April 4, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB will discuss and complete preliminary reviews for each substance in Seattle before voting...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 18, 2019 on biodiversity, chapters, events

The San Luis Obispo Kompogas facility converts municipal organic solid waste into high grade compost, liquid soil amendment, and carbon neutral biogas. Through a controlled 14-day multistage process at a thermophilic temperature of 131 degrees, food waste is converted into compost for agricultural use and carbon-neutral biogas for electricity production. The facility does all this indoors with no runoff while recovering energy in the process. At full capacity, the plant is designed to generate 6.2 million kW/h annually, which is more than enough to power the facility and send excess...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


R.L. Stevenson Middle School

R.L. Stevenson Middle School received a grant to create and sustain a school learning garden--a place for exploration and creation to occur. Middle school students began their project by learning about the microorganisms that live in soil. This included building a worm composting station. Students also learned about a wide variety of seeds and grew edible plants to be used for a class salad party. After the plants went to seed, students collected them and packaged them in packets they designed. The garden continues to develop as a community space where students can read books in the afternoon...
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...

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