Education Resources

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CCOF is committed to organic education for producers, handlers, and consumers. We offer a robust calendar of educational opportunities for our members and the public. Additionally, we collaborate with educational organizations across the country to encourage organic education. Below are a few institutions that we recommend for educational resources and training.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC)
AFSIC specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA’s effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers worldwide. Their organic pages include subject guides and links related to crops and gardening, livestock, standards and certification, and USDA programs.

An Organic Conversation
A weekly radio show hosted online and across the airwaves that focuses on ecology-based thinking in the organic food and holistic health movement. The show discusses pertinent ecological issues and invites guests to engage in conversations regarding social and environmental problems and possible solutions. The show is hosted by organic industry veterans Helge Hellberg, Sitarani Palomar, and Mark Mulcahy, who combined offer listeners over 50 years of expertise in the green and organic movement and marketplace.

California Central Coast Farmer Education Network (FEN)
The FEN is a group of organizations on California’s Central Coast that collaboratively strives to educate beginner farmers by offering a calendar of workshops, field days, seminars, webinars, and other opportunities for Central Coast growers. CCOF is one of those organizations.

Created by the eOrganic Community of Practice for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers, and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. Content is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production, and is collaboratively authored and reviewed by a community of university researches and eXtension personnel, ag professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

FarmsReach is an online and offline platform for farmers to access the information, inputs, support, and services they need to be successful. By partnering with farmer members and the organizations that serve them, FarmsReach and its offline Farmers Guild Network offer programs that empower farmers to make better business decisions, preserve the environment, strengthen rural communities, and – ultimately – help each other succeed.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

Scientific Findings About Organic Agriculture
While no entries have been added to this database since 2010, users can access findings from more than 170 peer-reviewed, scientific articles about organic agriculture. The site organizes the research findings by topic: animal health and welfare, fruits & vegetables, grains, meat, organic farming and niche markets, organic/conventional comparisons, and poultry. This website is a project of the Leopold Center. The summaries do not make any attempt to recommend organically grown food over conventionally-produced food, or to infer that organically grown food could provide nutritional health benefits, perceived or otherwise. Research cited involves a comparison or specific trait of organic food. Original citations are included with the summaries.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Association
The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association is a clearing house of information for potential students and teachers of sustainable and organic agriculture. Find comprehensive listings of conferences, educational programs, and curriculum across the nation that focus on sustainable and organic agriculture.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
The International WWOOF Association is dedicated to helping those who would like to volunteer on organic farms internationally. If you are interested in working on a CCOF-certified organic farm, please visit our apprenticeships classified listings.

USDA NRCS – Conservation for Organic Farmers and Ranchers
USDA’s National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has resources available for organic farmers and farmers looking to transition to organic. Their website includes fact sheets, booklets, videos, guides, webinars, and more. The “Going Organic: NRCS Assistance for Organic Farmers” booklet provides information on the assistance they provide and how farmers can apply for NRCS programs.