CCOF Blog

Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, September 21, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Daniel Donate Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Agribusiness – California Born and raised in Salinas, California, Daniel has been surrounded by agriculture his whole life. It was in Salinas that his parents made a living as laborers, but before coming to the United States, they tended their own lands in Mexico and grew strawberries as their primary crop. As a child, Daniel was enrolled in a children’s development program that gave him greater insight into the agricultural industry and left a lasting impression on him. His interest in agriculture wasn’t sparked again until after high school when he...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 21, 2015 on CCOF

Are you a member of the organic food industry, but not certified by CCOF? Do you want to get involved with CCOF at the governance level? Are you a CCOF member who knows someone who may fit this criteria? The CCOF Board of Directors is seeking applications from individuals for appointment to the CCOF Certification Services, LLC Management Committee, which they will review at their November meeting. The LLC Management Committee is appointed by the board and has the responsibility to control and manage the business and affairs of CCOF Certification Services, LLC. The board looks for applicants...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 21, 2015 on advocacy, financial assistance, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) continues to refine crop insurance options for organic growers. The latest change is that more crops are eligible for coverage at the organic or contracted price instead of at the conventional price. For crop year 2016, RMA has added barley, cabbage, cranberries, cultivated wild rice, dry peas, forages (including alfalfa in some states), grass seed, onions, potatoes, processing clingstone peaches, rye, sugarcane, safflower, and wheat to the list of crops that can be insured for their organic price. Now, a total of 47 crops are...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 21, 2015 on advocacy, policy

The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program (SARE) is seeking nominations or self-nominations for the following seats on its Administrative Council: Organic Farmer/Rancher Sustainable Farmer/Rancher Conventional Farmer/Rancher Tropical Farmer/Rancher NGO/Nonprofit Representative Nominations and self-nominations are being accepted until November 6, 2015. To apply, please contact Teryl Roper, Regional Coordinator at (435) 797-8698 or teryl.roper@usu.edu. SARE is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that awards competitive grants conducted cooperatively by...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 14, 2015 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

It’s that time of year again! Share your story and help shape the future of organic. NOSB Tentative Meeting Agenda Announced The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced the tentative agenda for the fall 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to be held in Stowe, Vermont from October 26-29, 2015. Prior to the meeting, the USDA invites the public to comment on what should be included in and excluded from the organic standards. NOSB—a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other representatives—...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, September 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Adriana Murguia University of California, Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies Major with a Concentration in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems – California Adriana grew up in San Bernardino county outside of the greater Los Angeles area, and was introduced to food systems once she started attending UC Santa Cruz. She aspires to pursue a career in organic agriculture because both Latinos and women make up the majority of agricultural workforce in California, yet are significantly underrepresented in administrative positions in agriculture and in political decision-making. Her motivation in...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Friday, September 4, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


CCOF is pleased to announce that the Bricmont Fund is open for applications for hardship assistance from now until October 23, 2015. The fund provides direct financial assistance exclusively to certified organic producers and processors/handlers who suffer losses due to extreme hardship such as fire, flood, freeze, insect pressures, and drought. Since 2007, CCOF has distributed funds annually to members of the organic community who are in need. Eligibility Criteria: Certified organic operations currently in good standing (valid organic certificate required for consideration) Severe economic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, September 4, 2015 on advocacy, drought, policy, water

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is updating the list of critically overdrafted basins in the state as part of its responsibilities under the new California groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. The list of critically overdrafted basins and subbasins is open for comment through September 25, 2015. The draft list is online here, and the statewide map is posted here. Click on this link for more information and instructions on how to comment (scroll down to “Next Steps”). A basin is considered to be critically overdrafted if existing...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Friday, September 4, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jesse Cruz Mira Costa Junior College, Horticulture – California After graduating high school in New Jersey in 2003, Jesse enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent eight years in the Marine Corps from 2003-11, during which he served a six-month tour of duty in Iraq. During his final year in the Marines, Jesse began to consider his transition into the civilian sector and what he was going to do for a career after the time he spent in the military. At the same time, he underwent personal shifts in his attitude towards food, health, and the politics surrounding those issues. By...
Written by Laura Mathias on Friday, September 4, 2015 on cost share, fees, financial assistance, funding

The application deadline for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is fast approaching! Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 may apply for reimbursement by October 31, 2015. All certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. CCOF has made it easy to apply with Cost Share forms and instructions and a checklist...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

Over the next few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will publish the final food safety requirements for produce farms and food processing facilities under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Many produce farmers and food processors that make food for people to eat will need to comply with the new food safety requirements.How did we get here? In 2011, President Obama signed FSMA in to law. FSMA represented the first overhaul to food safety practices in the United States since 1938.FSMA directed FDA to engage in public rulemaking to establish new food safety standards. In...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, August 31, 2015 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Kimberly and Mufasa

The CCOF Foundation is proud to partner with the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) to offer 20 $1,000 scholarships for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants. Now in its second year, the joint project between FFA and CCOF gives FFA students across the country the opportunity to learn how to grow organic food, raise organic animals, or conduct experiments about organic agriculture. Last year the CCOF Foundation was able to sponsor 10 scholarships through FFA. Read about all the 2014 winners.Kimberly Vargas was one of those students. Kimberly is a high school student in...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, financial assistance, policy

A new type of crop insurance, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, may better serve highly diversified organic crop and livestock producers than traditional crop insurance policies. Rather than covering losses of a particular crop, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection covers all crops and livestock produced on a single farm. In response to suggestions made by CCOF’s partner organizations, the Organic Trade Association and its Farmers Advisory Council and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) made a number of changes to the program since its initial release in...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 31, 2015 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore from September 17-19. Come by booth #1509 to talk about our “Organic is Non-GMO & More” certification seal, organic certification, and more.You can also follow along on our Twitter account, where we’ll be tweeting from the show.We hope to see you there!
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 31, 2015 on policy, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) announced that it will keep its National Survey of Organic Farmers open through September 14, 2015.Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.The 34-question survey focuses on certified organic farmers’ research needs and also collects information on the organic community’s experience with GMO contamination, pesticide drift, and food safety issues.Widespread participation by organic farmers across the country will ensure that research needs of all types and scales of certified organic production are recorded. Survey results inform...

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