CCOF Blog

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, regulatory

The CCOF Foundation’s Organic Training Institute (OTI) is offering food safety workshops throughout 2018 that meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Our most recent workshop was held near Fresno, California earlier this month.    FSMA is the first major overhaul to food safety regulations since 1938 and includes new regulations that directly impact growers of fresh produce. Produce farms that gross between $250,000-$500,000 in annual sales may be required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule to have a supervisor attend a Produce Safety Alliance (...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Organic Week is an annual event that brings the organic sector to Washington D.C. for a week of conferences, meetings with legislators, and more.   CCOF’s top priority at this year’s Organic Week is Hill Visit Day—an event that brings organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, processors, organizations, and others into the offices and meeting rooms of Capitol Hill to advocate for organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.    Organic Week also includes the Organic Center’s two day Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brings together a diverse group of organic...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 19, 2018 on general organic, research


Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California   We recently held our annual meeting in Sacramento, California, to discuss the latest topics, trends, and challenges currently testing the world of organic agriculture. The theme was Organic Hotspots: Revitalizing Rural America, drawn from Professor Edward C. Jaenicke’s exciting research about the correlation between organic agricultural activity and economic development. Pennsylvania State University’s Jaenicke and co-author Julia Marasteanu’s research papers reveal exciting discoveries for the economies, communities, and people living near clusters...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, policy, regulatory

In light of California’s new recreational cannabis cultivation and sales allowances, some organic producers are considering adding cannabis cultivation to their operations. However, producers should be aware that USDA has a long-standing policy regarding cannabis production, which could impact grower’s eligibility for a range of USDA programs including Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and crop insurance.    USDA staff cannot provide technical assistance to cannabis producers and producers with conservation contracts with NRCS who are growing cannabis...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on general organic, grower, research

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from all the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture—of all farmers and ranchers across the country—NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring.    NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering necessary end-of-year documents. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Peter Varas studies sustainable agriculture and food systems at the University of California, Davis. Varas is interested in using agroecology as a tool to achieve seed sovereignty, and land, food, and climate justice. He works on urban agriculture projects in Sacramento and Oakland, building communal gardens along with skateparks to empower youth to be stewards of the land in the future. Varas would like to eventually work with peasant farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and urban farmers in cities, to increase access to food in communities of color. Congratulations Peter! Please...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association wants its day in court. The association on Wednesday requested that oral arguments be heard on its lawsuit against the USDA over the department's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards. The request comes as the case is gaining significant momentum and as more organic businesses and stakeholders take action and speak out in support of the lawsuit.   Since the filing of the lawsuit, a host of organic stakeholders representing thousands of organic farming families, organic certifiers, and organic policymakers—along with leading animal welfare and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory


DC

From left to right: Karen Archipley (Archi's Acres), Victor Cortes and Veronica Cortes (ALBA farmers certified organic by CCOF), Rep. Jim Costa, Wes King (NSAC), Jane Sooby (CCOF), and Gerardo Fuentes (farm incubator director, ALBA).    Just in time to contribute suggestions to the 2018 Farm Bill currently being written by the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the national advocacy group National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) invited CCOF-certified farmers and staff to fly to Washington D.C., to visit key Congressional offices and tell their stories about...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on general organic, research

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from all the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture—of all farmers and ranchers across the country—NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring.    NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering necessary end-of-year documents. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 12, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will discuss the re-listing or removal of 40 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Tucson, Arizona on April 25-27, 2018.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via www.regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0057-0001 until April 4, 2018. 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...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, general organic, research

The Organic Center released new research completed in collaboration with the University of Virginia showing that organic farming can help reduce nitrogen pollution on a global scale. The study found that organic farming helps prevent nitrogen pollution by recycling three times more reactive nitrogen than conventional farming.    The study shows that 93 percent of all nitrogen used to produce conventional food was newly-created reactive nitrogen. In organic foods, only 33 percent of the nitrogen used to produce foods was new reactive nitrogen. The rest of the nitrogen used is recycled. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program provides funding for incentivizing and demonstrating soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health.    The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.   The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of soil health practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. California farmers and ranchers, as well as federally- and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, events

Please be informed that the next public meeting of the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will take place on March 15, 2018, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. in the California Department of Food and Agriculture main auditorium.    The agenda has been posted to the following website in accordance with Bagley-Keen requirements.     Additional meeting information will be posted to the same website as they become available.   ***   The mission of the CDFA Office of Environmental Farming & Innovation is to serve California by supporting agricultural production and incentivizing practices...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Robles

David is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz who has centered his agricultural career around the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). He has served his community as a student worker and as a youth mentor using sustainable agriculture as a tool for empowerment. He continues to develop his skills through the apprenticeship program at CASFS with the hope of sharing his knowledge with future generations. Congratulations David! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation's Future Organic Farmer Grants. 
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


PHOTO: Darrell Wood   We’re still buzzing with inspiration following our CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference in Sacramento on February 23. This year, 175 attendees joined us to explore the factors that have made California a hotbed of organic hotspots activity and discuss ways to encourage the growth of organic hotspots across rural America. Pennsylvania State University Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke’s research on organic hotspots provided inspiration for the discussion at the conference.     The day of the event began with CCOF’s Annual Meeting, where CCOF Board Chairman Phil...

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