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Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, June 6, 2022

CCOF and CalCAN hosted a virtual briefing for California state legislators and agency officials to learn about current opportunities in California’s organic marketplace. This briefing provided context for CCOF-sponsored AB 2499 (Maienschein), which creates an Organic Transition Program to provide underserved farmers with financial and technical assistance to transition to organic and requires a statewide market analysis of the organic sector.

We heard from four experts during the briefing:

Ernesto Soto, grower liaison at Coke Farms, explained how organic is an important…
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 6, 2022

CCOF is working to pass two organic bills in California this legislative session. AB 1870 will streamline the state program that oversees organic food manufacturers and handlers, and AB 2499 will create an organic transition pilot program to support socially disadvantaged growers in becoming certified organic.

Both bills moved forward during deliberations on the Assembly floor in late May, and next, they will be taken up by the California Senate Agriculture Committee. 

AB 1870, authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone, supports California food processors by streamlining the…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, June 6, 2022

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the 2022 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program. California producers are eligible to apply for Track 4, the California Farm to School Producer Grant, which covers costs related to producing, processing, and distributing food to schools as well as establishing or enhancing climate smart agriculture practices and hands-on educational opportunities.

Eligible expenses include infrastructure such as greenhouses and building upgrades, equipment such as refrigerated trucks and coolers,…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 6, 2022

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has opened two organic cost-share programs for applications. Certified organic operations may apply for and receive reimbursement from both programs.

“Original” cost share offers organic operation reimbursement of 50 percent of eligible expenses related to certification, including State Organic Program registration fees up to a maximum of $500 per scope. Find more information on the “original” cost-share program at the USDA’s website. 

“New” cost share is open to certified organic and transitional producers. It offers to pay 25 percent…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 23, 2022

A new long-term lease partnership between CCOF-certified Spade & Plow and the legendary Van Dyke Ranch was announced this month. This collaboration will preserve Santa Clara Valley agricultural land and bring the valley’s rich farming history into the future.

Spade & Plow is the result of five generations of family farming. Mike and his two sons Nick and Sam got…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, May 23, 2022

CCOF-sponsored bills AB 1870 and AB 2499 are headed to the California Assembly floor this week. Ask your assemblymember to vote “yes” on AB 1870 and AB 2499. Click here to find out who your assemblymember is.

AB 1870, authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone, supports California food processors by streamlining the registration process and creating more transparency in the Department of Public Health’s oversight of organic processors. 

AB 2499, authored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, creates an Organic Transition Program to provide underserved farmers with financial and…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, May 16, 2022

"I am proud to be a field worker’s daughter …. I am one of nine children; my father was a bracero." Agriculture has always been a part of Magdalena Vigil Garcia’s life—it is her past, present, and future. Vigil’s history and family heritage introduced her to farming initially, and as a graduate of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association’s Farmer Education Course and current…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 16, 2022

On Thursday, May 5, 2022, CCOF hosted California State Senator Eggman and Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry for an important discussion around organic transition.

We were joined by more than 30 leaders from organic farms, businesses, and partner organizations for a farm tour, lunch, and discussion about all that it takes to become certified organic. The event took place at the Lucas…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 9, 2022

In honor of National Agriculture Week, longtime CCOF Foundation supporter AgroThrive partnered with its home gardening community to support up-and-coming farmers with a donation of more than 300 gallons of its unique liquid organic fertilizer. Between March 21 and 28, for every purchase of liquid organic fertilizer made on AgroThrive.com, the company donated the same amount to the organic farmers-in-training at…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 9, 2022

Last month, the CCOF Foundation hosted its third virtual teatime. Organic industry leaders, CCOF Foundation supporters, and farmers alike joined us via Zoom to hear from organic regenerative farmer Jared Siverling of Siverling Centennial Farms in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Jared and his wife Vanessa have spent the last five years transitioning the Siverling multigenerational farm from conventional to organic with…

Written by kta on Monday, May 9, 2022

Are you familiar with the USDA National Organic Program’s proposed Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Rule? This pending regulation will significantly change the organic regulations. After the rule is enacted, operations buying, selling, trading, or facilitating sales of organic products will be required to gain certification.

The current organic regulations require operations that process, package, or label organic products to maintain certification. The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) is now proposing that operations that buy, sell, trade, or facilitate organic sales…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, May 2, 2022

Both bills sponsored by CCOF were passed out of the California Assembly Agriculture Committee at the hearing on April 27th. 

AB 1870, which is authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone, was voted out with 10 ayes, 0 noes. This bill supports California food processors by streamlining the registration process and creating more transparency in the Department of Public Health’s oversight of organic processors. No one has registered opposition to AB 1870.

AB 2499, which is authored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, was voted out with 8 ayes, 0 noes. This bill creates an Organic…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 2, 2022

In 2018, the CCOF Foundation hosted an intimate lunch at Natural Products Expo East. About six blocks from the trade show floor in Baltimore, a quiet but confident teenage girl stood in front of longtime organic industry professionals and told them her story. That girl was Shannon Good, who received a grant from the CCOF Foundation to support her studies in organic agriculture. Adults, many of whom were three or…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 25, 2022

If you operate a certified organic farm growing vegetables, fruit, or nuts, or are considering organic certification for your farm, then we would be grateful if you would answer our short 10-minute survey on third-party food safety certification. The survey is funded by the USDA, and all responses are anonymous.

To complete the online survey, please go to our secure website at wsu.edu.

We have heard that organic farmers may face unique challenges in meeting both National Organic Program standards and third-party food safety requirements.

Our goal with…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 25, 2022

Join the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in Florida on May 13 for a workshop that reviews what it takes to be a USDA-certified organic farmer.

The two-part workshop will start with a classroom session introducing participants to organic regulations from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Lecanto, Florida. Then, in the afternoon, tour Danley Family Farm, a livestock operation in Floral City, Florida, where participants will walk the farm with an organic inspector and learn firsthand about the organic inspection process. Through a “mock inspection,” participants will learn…