CCOF Blog

Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation


Do you want to live in a world where organic is the norm? We do too! At the CCOF Foundation, we train new organic farmers, support those who already farm organically, and remind shoppers why they should always buy certified organic. Over the course of 2015, we reached more than 135,000 organic farmers, teachers, students, and consumers. Here’s what we have achieved this year in our four program areas: Future Organic Farmer Grant FundWe make grants directly to students and teachers of organic agriculture. In 2015, we reached 4,500 teachers, students, and their families.  Organic Training...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2015 on rating system

Do you sell to Whole Foods? Are you interested in hearing more about and giving feedback on the Whole Foods Market (WFM) Responsibly Grown rating system? WFM is hosting a series of regional meetings around the United States in January, February, and March of 2016 to help growers and shippers understand their Responsibly Grown rating system. This is your chance to meet with the WFM Procurement Team for a discussion about the rating system for produce and flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rating system changes proposed for 2016 and provide feedback and input on the program...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF


Spread the holiday cheer by giving your favorite farmer or organic enthusiast the newest CCOF gear this season! We just added new hats to the shop to keep the sun out of your eyes in the field. Choose from our black trucker-style hat with a “Support Organic Farmers” patch, or our tan hat with the same slogan embroidered on the cap. Both hats are made in the U.S.A. with organic cotton, so they are gifts you can feel great about giving! If the hats aren't your style, show your support for organic farmers by sewing one of our new “Support Organic Farmers” patches onto your bag, coat, or overalls...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 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: Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24 Christmas Day: Friday, December 25 New Year’s Day: Friday, 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 2015! Happy holidays!
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lyle McDonaldVeteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training program – California After graduating high school, Lyle McDonald joined the United States Marine Corps, during which time he was deployed to Iraq for seven months and to Afghanistan for seven months. After leaving the Marine Corps he, like other veterans, wasn't prepared for what the civilian world had planned for him. The worst feeling in the world is being told that the skills he had acquired in the Marine Corps did not transfer into a job in the civilian world. Lyle’s family in the Philippines are sugar cane farmers, and although...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 7, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jessie MaierRogue Farm Corps FarmsNext Internship Program – Oregon In 2012 Jessie graduated from Ohio State University (OSU) with a degree in animal science. Jessie grew up in the suburbs, so in order to get more experience in agriculture, she worked at OSU's beef and sheep operation and as a research assistant in ruminant nutrition. Subsequently, she volunteered at OSU’s student vegetable farm, an aquaculture lab, and at Stratford Ecological Center, an educational organic farm, and took OSU’s course in management-intensive grazing. After these experiences, Jessie knew her passion lay in...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 7, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, events

Join us for California FarmLink and CCOF’s Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession Conference An EcoFarm Pre-Conference: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA In 2016 California FarmLink and CCOF are launching the Organic Elders and the Next Generation Project. Together with organic industry partners, our organizations are planning a multi-year campaign to create farmland and business succession strategies for the agrarian elder-founders of California's organic agriculture movement, while also helping young...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Monday, December 7, 2015 on advocacy, policy, research, seeds

It is a challenge for organic growers in California to find seed varieties that perform well in organic conditions, due to the fact that most plant breeding has been done for conventional production. This need for organic-specific vegetable varieties is being addressed by a new organic plant breeding project at the University of California, Davis, funded by a federal Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant. The project will focus on developing organic tomato, bean, and pepper varieties. Cultivars will be developed on CCOF-certified organic land at UC Davis’s student farm. The plan is...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 30, 2015 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, State Organic Program

Since the implementation of the national organic standards in 2002, CCOF members have expressed concerns that the California State Organic Program (SOP) duplicates the fee and reporting requirements of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). In response to these concerns, CCOF wrote a comprehensive report in 2015 titled Review of the California State Organic Program. About the Report CCOF wrote the Review of the California State Organic Program in collaboration with an advisory committee to ensure input from a range of stakeholders, including organic producers, policy experts, and public...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 30, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sunyoung Yang University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship – California Sunyoung Yang is a 33 year old Korean woman who became politicized around global and ecological justice issues from indigenous farmers in Latin America. She worked on policy advocacy that intersects civil rights, transportation justice, environmental justice, and climate change work in Los Angeles, nationally, and internationally including on the UN level. Much of her inspiration to become a farmer and work with farmers around the world came from this initial...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 23, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides, policy

CCOF, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and University of California Cooperative Extension are hosting a meeting on the invasive stinkbug Bagrada bug on Friday, December 11 at the Cooperative Extension office in Salinas from 9:30 a.m – 3 p.m. Click here to register for the meeting. The meeting is free of charge and will include lunch for onsite participants courtesy of CCOF and the University of California Cooperative Extension Entomology Program. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar, allowing remote participants the ability to hear all presentations and interact...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 23, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

On Friday, November 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published the final Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Produce Safety Rule establishes food safety standards for produce farms in the United States. Will the Produce Safety Rule impact my operation? The Produce Safety Rule includes requirements that address water quality, employee health and hygiene, wild and domesticated animals, manure and compost application, equipment, and buildings. For a run-down on the Produce Safety Rule and organic operations, see the Organic Trade Association’s response...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 23, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jessica Wong California Farm Academy, Beginning Farmer Training Program – California Jessica Wong grew up in San Francisco and then moved to Berkeley for college, and as such had very little experience with farming and dirt until recently. At Berkeley she became interested in insects, which turned into an interest in integrated pest management and biological control, which turned into an interest in agroecology. This all influenced her decision to learn more about farming practices and food systems, and it was then that her passion for farming was sparked. She is currently participating in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 on marketing, research

As organic researchers, we are very excited about the prospect of organic check-off funds going towards supporting research to help us address U.S. organic farmers’ most pressing needs to increase production of organic food, feed and fiber. For years, we have fought the federal government and our state universities for every organic research dollar. Traditionally, organic research has been woefully underfunded. Unfortunately, this lack of funding has a real impact on organic producers, and translates into a lack of methods and tools useful for current organic farmers and reduced support for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 16, 2015 on member news


The Organic Coup

The Organic Coup, America’s first USDA Certified Organic fast food restaurant, certified by CCOF, opened its first location in Pleasanton, California, on Tuesday, November 10. The restaurant serves only organic options, featuring a crispy chicken sandwich. The Organic Coup was created to progress the organic movement and change the way people think about food. The name is Coup, not Coop, because it was hatched to spark a food revolution in which consumers help to transform the conventional food system. “The inspiration for The Organic Coup came from the lack of convenient clean food available...

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