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Rest in Peace Amigo Bob Cantisano

by Peter Nell |

CCOF is deeply saddened by the news of Amigo Bob Cantisano’s passing in late 2020. Amigo Bob was a tireless organic farmer, advocate, and educator who devoted his life to supporting and growing organic agriculture. 

CCOF Board Chair Phil LaRocca said, “Amigo Bob Cantisano was a close friend. As an early innovator and true believer, he dedicated his life to growing and strengthening the organic movement. He never gave up his belief in and support for organic farmers. His energy and knowledge will be missed but his impact will never be forgotten.”

Amigo, along with other revolutionary organic farmers, helped found CCOF around a kitchen table in Santa Cruz, California in 1973. He later served as a member of the CCOF Materials Subcommittee and was tasked with developing the list of materials allowed in organic production. 

Retired CCOF staff member and inspector Zea Sonnabend of Fruitilicious Farm remembers, “Amigo was instrumental in the development of the organic movement by convincing more California growers to go organic than anyone else and convincing growers of all sizes that organic could not only work but work profitably. He also helped CCOF develop the first list of materials for organic production and was committed to an organic future.”

Amigo co-founded the EcoFarm Conference and advised countless influential organic companies and organizations, including OMRI, the Organic Materials Review Institute. We are forever grateful to Amigo for his holistic vision of organic and for the deep mark he made on agriculture.

If you would like to donate to Amigo’s family to help cover memorial costs, please visit their GoFundMe site. Amigo Bob Cantisano’s legacy will be discussed during Friday’s memorial tribute at the upcoming EcoFarm Conference taking place January 20-23. For further information about Amigo, please see the articles below compiled by the Ecological Farming Association.

LA Times obituary

New York Times profile

UC Santa Cruz interview