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Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 7, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering at least three types of tax credit as part of COVID-19 relief, including Credit for Sick and Family Leave, the Employee Retention Credit, and Paid Leave Credit for Vaccines. 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers and certain governmental employers to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The ARP tax…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, March 7, 2022

 

Meagan Farrell, 2021 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. To broaden her knowledge and build on her heritage, Farrell has enrolled in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program at the Managed Grazing Innovation Center to help steer the family farm toward organic production. Farrell continues her in-…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 7, 2022

The USDA recently announced the opening of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) to support the expansion of meat processing capacity nationwide. 

The MPPEP will award $150 million in competitive grants to eligible meat and poultry processors. The maximum award amount is $25 million or 20 percent of total project costs, whichever is less. There is no minimum award amount. Applications are due April 11, 2022.
This first round of grants will support at least 15 facilities that are prepared to break ground. It is expected that a second round of $225 million…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 28, 2022

CCOF Foundation Champion and longtime organic farming advocate Earl Herrick and the team at Earl’s Organic Produce are quite accustomed to changing with the times. Having launched his business in San Francisco in 1988, Earl Herrick, along with the rest of the organic industry, has watched the pace at which organic has grown over the last 40-plus years. CCOF and Earl’s have grown side by side in many respects,…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), as part of a federal grant, is working with the Central Valley Community Foundation and several other partners to evaluate an opportunity for a new community food hub or aggregation center in Fresno. A food hub can offer some unique opportunities, particularly for smaller specialty crop growers, to access new markets and is not meant to replace current market channels. 

CAFF would love to hear from farmers and buyers; please respond via the following survey links: 

Buyers Survey 
Farmers Survey

CAFF has a few…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

On March 2, 2022, Organic Farmers Association, Organic Trade Association, and the Swette Center at Arizona State University will be co-hosting a national meeting for organic farmer input on core organic priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. We really want your voice to be included, but you need to act in the next week!

There are two ways farmers can participate:

1.  Attend the virtual National Organic Farmer Meeting on March 2 (10 a.m – 2 p.m.). Register online by February 25!
2.  Complete a 20 minute 20203 Farm Bill survey by March 1!

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This article was…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, Kansas State University, University of Georgia, and University of Florida want to better understand the organic industry’s needs and challenges regarding postharvest handling and the safety of fresh produce. 

As part of a USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) grant, these scientists seek your participation in a survey that will help design practical research and education programs to ensure the quality, shelf life, and safety of organic fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain. 

You will receive…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Photo taken by Liz Birnbaum

The CCOF Foundation has stewarded farmers in their transition to organic practices and certification since our founding in 2002. Over the last 20 years, we have provided hundreds of farmers with financial and community support, technical assistance, and market access to help them create successful organic businesses. In 2020, through a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, the CCOF Foundation supported over…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

USDA has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), part of the organic regulations overseen by the NOP. The proposed changes are based on October 2020 and April 2021 recommendations from the NOSB.

This proposed rule would:

Allow paper pots, seed tape, and collars for use as planting aids in organic crop production. Allow low-acyl gellan gum for use as a thickener, gelling agent, or stabilizer in organic food processing. Correct a spelling error on the National List to change “wood resin…
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 22, 2022
New Pandemic Cover Crop Program Benefits Producers and Supports Climate-Smart Production Practices

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the USDA if they planted cover crops during the 2022 crop year. To receive the benefit from this year’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), producers must report cover crop acreage by March 15, 2022.  

The new program comes on the heels of the recently announced Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, which creates market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

CCOF Future Organic Farmers grantee Paula Crews’ commitment to organic agriculture is rooted in her dedication to a sustainable and ethical future for our environment. Her philosophical commitment to organic and her education in organic practices will facilitate Crews’ career in preserving and protecting our planet. Crews currently studies sustainable agriculture at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she works toward her…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Are you an organic processor who’s confused about what types of food safety preventative controls you need to implement in your operation? If so, you're in the right place. Join us on March 8, the new date for our Hazard Analysis Webinar for Organic Food Processors. During the webinar, we will walk through the process of hazard analysis, which is the first step to implementing preventative controls. 

Conducting a hazard analysis is a systematic approach to determine what types of preventative controls need to be implemented to ensure the production of safe food. The process for…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 14, 2022

The name “Javier Zamora” is well-known on the central coast of California. With his powerful voice, Zamora has never been shy about sharing his story of immigrating to the western United States and starting his own organic farming business with the support of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) and CCOF. With his business certified by CCOF since 2012, Zamora continues to give…

Written by Jen Rojas on Monday, February 14, 2022

CCOF celebrates Javier Zamora’s and Allison Johnson’s appointments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the federal advisory board that makes recommendations on organic materials and policy to the Secretary of Agriculture.

Javier Zamora, owner and operator of JSM Organics in Aromas, California, was appointed to a farmer seat. Javier brings a voice that has been missing from NOSB—that of an immigrant farmer who, through hard work and dedication, has built a thriving organic farming business and emerged as a leader within the community. Javier is vocal in his support for…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 14, 2022

Responding to member concerns, CCOF is sponsoring a bill, AB 1870, that will streamline the oversight of organic food processors by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to increase efficiency and transparency. 

Authored by Assembly member Mark Stone (29th Assembly District) and co-authored by Senator John Laird (17th Senate District) and Assemblymember Marc Levine (10th Assembly District), the legislation builds on the California Organic Food and Farming Act, sponsored by CCOF in 2016, that streamlined how the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)…