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2018 Conservation Stewardship Program Enrollment Window Opens

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that U.S. farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial fiscal year (FY) 2018 application for the nation’s largest working lands program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). 
 

A Conversation with Chris Hay of Say Hay Farms

This interview originally appeared in Certified Organic magazine, fall 2012, by Matt Boitano, CCOF Intern.

Most people think of mobile homes as a place to live, but not Chris Hay. He uses them for pest management on his eight-acre farm in Woodland, California, where he harvests a variety of fruits, vegetables, and chickens.

CAFF/Farmer's Guild 2018 Hedgerows and Farmscaping for California Agriculture

Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource. 

CCOF-Certified Archi’s Acres Featured in Documentary “The Farm”

CCOF members Colin and Karen Archipley are featured in a new documentary titled “The Farm.” The film highlights the Archipleys’ certified organic hydroponic farm Archi’s Acres and their work with veterans enrolled in the Archi’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.
 

CDFA Accepting Applications for Healthy Soils Program Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits, universities, and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).
 

Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel to Meet January 18

California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will meet on January 18. The panel reviews and documents agriculture’s positive impacts to the environment and other agriculture issues. 
 
The meeting will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:
 
California Farm Bureau Federation
2300 River Plaza Drive, Harvest Room

Massa Organics: Sustainability Hits Home

Massa rice house

Massa Organics has had an incredible journey to sustainability. It began shortly after college when Greg Massa and his wife, Racquel Krach, returned to Greg’s family rice farm. They utilized their tropical ecology background to prime themselves for their next venture: organic farming.

NOP Guidance on Biodiversity and Natural Resources Open for Comment

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a draft guidance to clarify biodiversity and natural resources requirements. The Draft Guidance, “Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations,” is open for comment now through February 27, 2015.

NRCS Prioritizes Organic in Conservation Innovation Grants Program

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.
 
Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues:

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