CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, employment

The National Farmers Union is accepting applications for the Beginning Farmer Institute. The Beginning Farmer Institute focuses on developing leadership and farm management skills in beginning farmers through small group teaching.    The application form is available for download and applications are accepted until April 30, 2018.   Eligible applicants include those who are currently farming or planning on starting within the next year. Ownership of an operation is not required, and operators of any operation type or size are eligible. The program is open to residents throughout the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


EUSD Farm Lab Encinitas, California All EUSD first graders (over 800 students) visited DREAMS Campus at Farm Lab and rotated through three hands-on lessons that connected them to agriculture and organic crop production. Students learned that it is healthier to use organic production methods and handling standards that are not harmful to water, soil, wildlife, and/or people, and which make the environment safer for bees and birds and for children to play. Students learned about cover crops for building healthy soil, and for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom lesson,...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) President Jamie Johansson and CCOF at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. The event will 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. We will hear the stories of organic leaders who have contributed to economic revitalization through organic in rural areas, and from those who have seen the impacts first-hand on their businesses and communities. Learn...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on advocacy, events


Cannabis

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) started the year with its traditional meeting at the EcoFarm Conference on January 25, 2018.    COPAC advises the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on organic issues.    During the meeting, State Organic Program (SOP) staff announced a new survey that will help inform its future communications work. Organic producers, country agricultural commissioners, consumers, and other stakeholders are encourage to participate.    SOP staff also reviewed upcoming changes to the state registration process that...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, research

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.   Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues: Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on events, general organic


Each year the EcoFarm Conference kicks off with a popular all-day farm bus tour. This year, the tour was titled “Organic Farming On and Near the Hollister Plain” and brought participants to farms and ranches in the Hollister area, including three CCOF-certified operations: Coke Farm, Morris Grassfed, and Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce.   The packed tour began at Coke Farm with Dale and Christine Coke explaining the services they provide to bolster their local community of organic farmers. Coke Farm pioneered organic strawberry growing and spring mixes, and was one of the first CCOF-...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Stillwater Township Elementary SchoolStillwater, New Jersey This spring, our Schoolyard Garden Club will meet once again thanks to the generosity of this program. Students in sixth grade will gather after school, grab their "gardening gear," and walk out to our raised bed garden area. We started with spring plantings, plan to work on purchasing a compost bin for the garden, and will proudly wear our student-designed shirts! Students will create a drip irrigation system using plastic milk jugs placed around the raised beds to help water during our spring break. Our school has secured enough...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Sacramento, February 22-23   Join A.G. Kawamura and CCOF at our Organic Hotspots Conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   Kawamura is a third generation produce grower and shipper and co-owner of CCOF-certified Orange County Produce, LLC. From 2003 to 2010, Kawamura served as the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He is the founding chairman of Solutions for Urban Agriculture (SFUA). For over 30 years, Kawamura has pursued a lifelong goal...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 29, 2018 on policy, regulatory

California is the leading agricultural state in the country, and we are proud of the products that are grown and produced here. The laws and regulations that are in place protect consumers, producers, handlers, processors, and retailers by establishing standards for agricultural products and foods that are labeled and/or sold as organic.   The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is always seeking effective and efficient ways to protect and promote growth of the organic industry. That means continuously reviewing regulations to ensure they align...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


College Prep Elementary St. Paul, Minnesota The goal of our project was to expose five- and six-year-old kindergarten students to different varieties of organic fruits and vegetables. Many of our students are English Language Learners and have never seen most fruits and vegetables. During this school year we had successful tastings for a large variety of different fruits and vegetables. Many students tasted different foods that they had never had before. By using our kindergarten USDA nutrition books and having these fruit and vegetable tastings, we successfully completed our goal to have...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, handler

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join CCOF at the Organic Hotspots conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   The Organic Hotspot study recently conducted by Penn State Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke demonstrated conclusively that median household incomes increase and poverty rates decrease as a direct result of organic food and crop production by county, especially when organic businesses exist in clusters, or “hotspots.”   The conference will feature keynote speaker Glenda...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance

Each year, the CCOF Foundation offers direct financial assistance for organic producers who experience loss due to hardship via the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. These hardships include natural disasters such as flood, freeze, fire, drought, and invasive pests, and personal emergencies. Since the Fund’s inception in 2007, the CCOF Foundation has distributed $129,438 to 159 organic producers.    2017 was extremely challenging for agricultural producers across the United States. The hurricanes that struck Florida and Texas and the wildfires in California had a tremendous impact on organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy, regulatory, standards

Last week, CCOF submitted a comment to USDA opposing the agency’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. CCOF also joined 80 other organic producers, retailers, organizations, certifiers, farm groups, and consumer organizations in an open letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to implement the rule.    The OLPP rule is the result of decades of rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and members of the organic community. The rule ensures that organic animals live in pasture-based systems, establishes minimum indoor and...

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