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Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 20, 2023
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close up sprouts

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The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in collaboration with the State Board of Food and Agriculture, will be hosting the first of five public listening sessions on December 6, 2023, via Zoom to receive comments that will help define “regenerative agriculture” for state policies and programs.

CCOF encourages our members to participate in the December 6 listening session to remind the state that organic agriculture is regenerative agriculture and that the state’s definition must build on organic agriculture and focus on cultivating soil health as a…

Written by Gaea Denker on Monday, November 20, 2023
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Organic Rising

Organic Rising, the new feature-length film directed by Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award winner Anthony Suau, is now available to watch online. It aims to demystify organic agriculture, and provides thoughtful, well-researched insights even for consumers who are already well-versed in the merits of organic.

Organic Rising presents a wide range of voices from across the organic and conventional food production spectrum, including people from the CCOF community who have contributed to and helped grow the organic movement since the 1970s.

One of the most compelling ideas the film…

Written by Gaea Denker on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

This webinar presents information on the GoGreen Business Energy Financing program, which offers support for small and medium-sized businesses in California to invest in energy-saving building retrofits and installations. 

Watch the webinar for more details, and use these links to dig deeper:

GoGreen Business (GGB) website: https://www.gogreenfinancing.com/energy-efficiency-business-loans-california/

GGB participating contractors: https://www.gogreenfinancing.com/energy-efficiency-business-loans-california/find-a-contractor/

GGB participating…

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, November 14, 2023
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COPAC Board

Erin Raser of Far West Fungi and Jeffrey Chean of Groundwork Coffee Roasters recently were appointed by Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC). 

Raser and Chean join other CCOF-certified members who have been appointed to COPAC, including CCOF Board Chair Philip LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards, Kaley Grimland of Sol Seeker Farm, Blake Alexandre of Alexandre Family Farm, David Will of Pierce Egg Co., and Amanda Felder of Taylor Farms/Earthbound Farm.

COPAC is a body established by state law to advise the…

Written by Michelle Caraballo on Monday, November 6, 2023
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Row Crops

Example of integrated farming methods courtesy of JSM Organics - pollinator flowers growing simultaneously with crop of strawberries. 

CCOF is offering two 16-hour, virtual-led courses to provide growers of plants with key insights and understandings of the GLOBALG.A.P. requirements for the Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Version 6 SMART and GFS. Come join CCOF to learn about the various certification options and requirements and how to prepare your operation for the transition to GLOBALG.A.P. Version 6 audit in the coming 2024 season.

Join us for the GLOBALG.A.P.…

Written by Jessica González on Monday, November 6, 2023
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Apolinar next to bean plants at his farm in Watsonville, California

(Apolinar next to bean plants at his farm in Watsonville, California)

Farmers are an essential part of their communities. Apolinar “Poli” Yerena, owner of Yerena Farms, has been farming organically in the Watsonville community since 2010. For Poli, farming is more than a business, it is a way of life. 

Poli first learned to grow strawberries from a Japanese farmer he worked for in his mid-20s. Back then, he did not know he would go on to own his own farming business, also growing strawberries. However, his interest in growing food came easily as he was surrounded by…

Written by Rachel Witte on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
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Whole Foods Market

Twenty years ago, one year after the USDA National Organic Standards were enacted, CCOF member Whole Foods Market became the first ever certified organic national retailer. Doing so made Whole Foods a trailblazer in organic retail, setting the stage for other retailers—large and small—to follow.  

“We are incredibly proud to certify Whole Foods Market, a leader and longtime steward of the organic movement,” says CCOF CEO Kelly Damewood. “Whole Foods Market not only cares deeply about maintaining the trust of its customers through organic certification but also continues to invest…

Written by Rachel Witte on Tuesday, October 31, 2023
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Thanksgiving

CCOF staff will be out of office from November 22 through 26 to gather with friends and family. This time of year, we reflect on our gratitude for Indigenous peoples who have tended the earth respectfully for generations. Thank you also to the organic producers who work year-round to put nourishing food on our tables. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Written by Michelle Caraballo on Monday, October 30, 2023
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Row Crops

Example of integrated farming methods courtesy of JSM Organics - pollinator flowers growing simultaneously with crop of strawberries. 

CCOF is offering two 16-hour, virtual-led courses to provide growers of plants with key insights and understandings of the GLOBALG.A.P. requirements for the Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Version 6 SMART and GFS. Come join CCOF to learn about the various certification options and requirements and how to prepare your operation for the transition to GLOBALG.A.P. Version 6 audit in the coming 2024 season.

Join us for the GLOBALG.A.P.…

Written by Jessica González on Monday, October 30, 2023
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Organic Transition Grantee Alejandro Salazar installs an irrigation pipe by hand with his daughter, Fatima Salazar

Organic Transition Grantee Alejandro Salazar installs an irrigation pipe by hand with his daughter, Fatima Salazar.

Labor is one of the challenges we hear the most about. Organic producers make a commitment to grow and raise food using ecological methods, and one of the trade-offs is that organic farms have higher labor demands to maintain such practices. To dive deeper into the challenges organic producers are facing, I’ve surveyed organic producers across crop type, scale, and geography. 

One of the most significant takeaways from my conversations and survey intakes is an…

Written by Laetitia Benador. Jane Sooby. and Renee Delaney on Monday, October 30, 2023
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Chicken

Photo of chicken during visit to Ancient Nutrition Regeneration in Action Field Day, April 2023

After more than 20 years of dedicated advocacy from the organic community, USDA has finally published a draft of the new Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) rule.  

Undersecretary of Agriculture Jenny Lester Moffitt made a surprise announcement during the National Organic Standards Board meeting that USDA has released an advance version of the rule. The final, official version of the rule has yet to be published in the Federal Register. 

The rule establishes…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Thursday, October 26, 2023
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Yadira Mendiola

This fall season, join the CCOF Foundation in honoring the dedication, triumphs, and challenges organic farmers experience when growing our food. As we begin to gather in community around various fall and winter holidays, let us all remember to thank a farmer for our delicious and healthy organic meals. 

Yadira Mendiola, Queen of Vegetables farm owner and operator, welcomed us onto her farm to experience a day in her life. 

Watch her story and learn more about the CCOF Foundation’s Organic Transition program on YouTube. 
 

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Monday, October 23, 2023
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OTP Veronica M.A. and Cole Cohort 2023

Photo of Veronica, OTP cohort 2023, courtesy of Brisa Ranch.

The CCOF Foundation, in partnership with GrubMarket, supports farmers making the transition to organic agriculture practices because we know that organic production is a proven solution to climate change, economic insecurity, and health inequities. We are giving $10,000 grants to underserved small farmers in California who are transitioning to organic practices. 

Applications are due Friday this week on October 27, 2023, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) PDT. 

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 16, 2023
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Farm Labor

Last month, USDA announced that up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding is available to support agricultural employers in implementing robust labor standards to promote a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers hired from northern Central American countries under the seasonal H-2A visa program. The program is funded by the Farm Service Agency and will be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center.

The program aims to improve the resiliency of our food and agricultural supply…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 16, 2023
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Energy Efficiency Farm Resources

Concerned about increased energy costs on your farm or business? You may benefit from the State of California’s GoGreen Business Energy Financing program, which offers support for small and medium-sized businesses in California to invest in energy-saving building retrofits and installations, including pump motors, refrigeration, and horticultural lighting. Look online for a comprehensive list of pre-qualified energy-saving measures organized by category.

Through the GoGreen Business program, eligible businesses—both property owners and tenants—can access private financing with…