CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events

Following the success of the previous seven editions, Ecovia Intelligence (formerly known as Organic Monitor) is announcing the agenda of the North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit. Taking place in San Francisco on January 30 and 31, 2018, the executive summit will feature sessions on the health impacts of sustainable foods, food ingredients, and organic and eco-labels.   The two-day summit will bring together leading organizations involved in eco-labels and sustainability in the regional food industry. There are four distinct sessions that will cover the following topics:...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Pacific Elementary SchoolDavenport, California This March, we planted seven apple trees and one persimmon tree with transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, fifth, and sixth grade classes all taking part in the process. In November, we had CCOF board members visit for lunch and visit with our fifth and sixth grade classes. We purchased two citrus trees, fencing, irrigation and received a donated avocado tree. Our eventual goal is to have students harvest fruit for our student’s meal and snack program. Thank you to Pacific Elementary School for sharing your organic project!...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 4, 2017 on general organic, grower

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation's producers this week. The census response deadline is February 5, 2018.   Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.   "The Census of...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers

Lokelani Intermediate SchoolKihei, Hawaii At the start of the semester, when I asked my students to describe what the word “organic” means, most couldn’t do so. Many students were familiar with the word, mentioning that their parents purchase organic products like milk and eggs. Amazingly though, they couldn’t really explain what the label organic meant and/or the benefits it offered. By participating in these three different hands on projects—vermiculture, companion planting, and aquaponics—my students’ understanding of organic agriculture has greatly improved. Each project in its own way...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy

  Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) meets with farmer Leslie Cooperband, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition    Last week, farmers from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) first 2018 Farm Bill “fly-in”. NSAC’s farmer fly-ins provide farmers and farm/food advocates with the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers in Congress about the issues that most affect their lives, businesses, and communities. On November 8th, NSAC held our first of several fly-ins focused on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF, marketing, policy

The feature article for the fall edition of CCOF’s Certified Organic magazine is now available online for ready reference, to download, and to print on demand. The article provides an overview of what’s in the farm bill, describes the political dynamics around the farm bill, and presents organic farm bill priorities.    Please read it and share widely!
Written by Jane Wade on Monday, November 20, 2017 on certification process, events, general organic

According to the USDA, consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth. Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly three out of four conventional grocery stores. Almonds, always popular, are benefiting from this growth.   Have you considered transitioning conventional almonds to organic? Are you planting new trees? Find out why organic is more than just a label and how going organic can benefit your business. Join CCOF at the 2017 Almond Board Conference on Thursday, December 7 and learn why and how organic is...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund - Direct Financial Assistance for Organic Producers   We are concerned about our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and fires in California, not to mention the numerous other natural disasters in last year. CCOF responds to crises such as these each year by offering financial assistance to organic producers. If you—or an organic professional you know—has experienced hardship during the 2017 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance from the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. CCOF is...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 20, 2017 on events, policy


Last week, CCOF hosted a farm tour for the California State Legislature to highlight the challenges and opportunities for organic agriculture. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA-04) and legislative staff joined Paul Underhill at Terra Firma Farm and Thaddeus Barsotti at Capay Organic Farm. While the tour highlighted the multiple environmental and economic benefits of organic agriculture, it also clearly demonstrated the immense regulatory pressures organic farmers are struggling with today.    Underhill began the tour of Terra Firma Farm by broadly introducing organic and showing real-...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, regulatory

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released long-anticipated rules restricting pesticide applications close to public schools and daycare facilities.    The new rules require that pesticides using aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or applied as a dust, powder, or fumigant between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday be located at least ¼ mile from schools.    At least 25-foot distance is required when application is made via ground-rig sprayer, soil injection equipment, or other types of applications including drip or flood chemigation.    There are no...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, general organic

Joshua Dransfield’s (2016 and 2017 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient) family farm was recently featured in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. The Dransfields run Windsprings Farm, a small organic dairy in Gapmills, West Virginia. With the assistance of Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, the Dransfield family started their transition to organic four years ago. The years of transition were challenging for the Dransfields. Organic feed was hard to source in the area and the amount of time it takes to get certified required time and resources. Thanks to support from other organic dairy...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...

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