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Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 10, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the application deadline for the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) to February 4, 2022. OTECP offers certification cost share, support for transitional producers, and reimbursement for educational expenses and soil testing expenses. Apply soon, because if funds run low, payment levels may be reduced.

OTECP is funded through USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers Program; $20 million has been authorized for the program. 

There are some important differences between this program and the usual…

Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, January 10, 2022

(January 3, 2022) Santa Cruz, CA – CCOF supports the growth of organic by providing service-oriented organic certification, diverse educational offerings, and dedicated policy work. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, CCOF has roots that span the breadth of North America, and the CCOF presence is internationally recognized. CCOF offers an expanding suite of certification services and is now accepting applications for PrimusGFS certification for farms, harvest crews, coolers/distributors, packinghouses, and processors of produce. 

To complement their organic certification…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 20, 2021

Organic farmers keep our families and communities fed with healthy, nutritious food, but they also do so much more. Through their work, organic farmers are also contributing to the fight against climate change, helping our economy recover, and solving health inequities. Even when times are hard, organic farmers continue in their commitment to keep food on our tables. 

Now is the time to repay that commitment by donating to our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund, which gives financial support to organic farmers in times of need. Every dollar of your donation goes to a farmer who…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 13, 2021

Please keep an eye out for emails calling for chapter leader nominations and announcing opportunities to vote in chapter elections and participate! You can have a say in the future of organic by representing your chapter on the CCOF Board of Directors.

CCOF is unique in many ways, and one of them is its structure. CCOF is a nonprofit organization led by a board of directors who represent the 15 CCOF chapters: 13 regional chapters, the Processor/Handler chapter, and the At-Large Chapter that comprises of all farmers and ranchers located outside California and Mexico. 

CCOF…

Written by Sarah Reed on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thank you for your support of organic in 2021! 
 
As you gather close to family this time of year, CCOF staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed from December 24 through December 31.

If you have urgent certification needs, please submit updates as early as possible to inbox@ccof.org. Updates received during the office closure will be reviewed in the order received once our teams are back in January.
 
We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests when we return.
 

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for all food processors regardless of their compliance status. Following good food safety practices also gives you and your customers confidence in the safety of your food products. Join us for the fourth webinar in our FSMA 101 for Organic Processors series for an overview of cGMPs for organic processors.

In this webinar, we will go through the basics of cGMPs requirements and recordkeeping. Learn about food safety requirements for buildings, equipment, and personnel, among others.…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The CCOF Foundation supports farmers transitioning to organic practices because we know that organic agriculture is a proven solution to climate change, economic insecurity, and health inequities.

Our organic transition program makes sure that transitioning farmers

have the financial stability to transition;  get professional technical support in key areas of agronomy, business and…
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide pandemic assistance to cover certification and education expenses to agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic. USDA will make $20 million available through the new Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) as part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, which provides new, broader, and more equitable opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and producers.   

OTECP funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021
OGS 2021 to Honor “a Grower’s Grower”; Vic Smith Announced as Grower of the Year Award Recipient

The Organic Grower Summit, presented by Western Growers and the Organic Produce Network, will honor longtime organic grower Vic Smith as the recipient of the fourth annual Organic Grower Summit’s Grower of the Year. Smith, CEO of JV Smith Companies, was selected based on his ongoing commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation. 

The Grower of the Year award, sponsored by AGCO, will be presented to Smith as part of the…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021

Farmers—especially organic farmers—operate on razor-thin margins that are especially stressed during hard times. Yet even when farmers are facing the challenges brought by natural disasters and a global pandemic, their dedication to the land and our communities continues as they work each day to grow nutritious food for our families. 

Our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives grants to organic…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 15, 2021
Next Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders

Up-and-coming leaders from three of the nation’s most progressive organic growing operations have been confirmed as panelists for the keynote presentation at the 2021 Organic Grower Summit (OGS) presented by Western Growers and OPN on December 1-2 in Monterey, California. 

“Next Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders” will…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 15, 2021

The day we visited Far West Fungi, the sun never even broke through the dense coastal fog. Nestled on a bluff in Moss Landing, California (aptly named for the foggy, chilly days there), Far West Fungi’s damp, dark facilities are joyfully managed by a multigenerational family whose business is full of light and hope.

If you were to admit that you don’t actually know how mushrooms grow, you wouldn’t be alone. Erin…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 8, 2021

As we wrap up our first “Radio Organic” podcast series, we would love to hear your ideas for future broadcasts. What topics would you like us to explore in future episodes?

Series One Recap

In our first series, we looked at direct marketing strategies for farms that sell directly to consumers.

In episode one, we heard from Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce on he how completely…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 8, 2021

Sixteen years ago, an accident ended the short and blossoming life of Casey Burke. Burke, a leader in Biodynamic farming of wine grapes, is survived by his brother Ted Burke. Ted manages the much-beloved Shadowbrook restaurant near CCOF’s headquarters in the greater Santa Cruz, California area. The restaurant, which sits alongside the river in quaint Capitola, is known for serving high-quality ingredients from…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 8, 2021

Note: Applications for Healthy Soils Incentive grants are being accepted on a rolling basis until funding runs out, so the sooner you submit your application, the more likely you will be to receive funding. The Healthy Soils Demonstration grant deadline is December 31, 2021.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for its Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program incentivizes implementation and demonstration of on-farm soil practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. CDFA appropriated $75 million…