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California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.

CCOF Board of Chair Phil LaRocca Awarded Farmer of the Year

Organic champion and CCOF Board of Directors chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards has been awarded the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award!
 
LaRocca is a pioneering organic wine grape grower and winemaker who uses innovative, environmentally friendly farming practices to produce wines with no added sulfites. He became the first certified organic apple grower in 1975 and then transitioned to wine and grape growing.   
 

CCOF Expands GMO Testing

In response to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) recent GMO testing pilot project results, CCOF has expanded its GMO testing and will assist CDFA in identifying any potential source of inadvertent GMO presence along the organic supply chain.

CCOF Voting Materials Coming Soon

Your CCOF membership bylaws voting material will arrive at the end of the month.
 
To ensure that all CCOF certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish additional chapters. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these bylaws revisions.
 

Confused by the Word “Organic” on Fertilizer Packages?

Many fertilizers and some herbicides and pesticides are labeled as “organic,” even though they aren’t allowed for use in organic production. These products are using the word “organic” as a chemist would, meaning they contain carbon compounds. The USDA only restricts the use of the word “organic” on food products, which allows companies to put whatever they choose on an input label as long as it is factual. This does not mean that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has approved these inputs for use in organic production.
 

Congressman LaMalfa Talks Farm Bill with Organic Producers

When Congress takes its August recess and Members go home to their districts, it’s a great time to meet with them directly. This year, it’s an especially good time for farmers to express their thoughts directly on the farm bill coming for renewal in 2018. This week I had the pleasure of sitting in with organic growers from Butte County, California when they met with their Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Oroville).
 

Cost Share Organic Certification Fee Refund Application Period Still Open

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is still open for 2017 applications, but only a few months remain to apply for funds. Through this program, eligible operations will be reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750, for each NOP scope of organic certification. Eligible operations can also receive a refund of California State Organic Program registration fees. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 may apply for reimbursement.

Farmers, What Food Safety Help Do You Need?

Long time CCOF ally Community Alliance with Family Farmers is a regional partner of the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC). LFSC has developed a needs assessment survey to gather input to support farmers and processors in complying with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. 
 

Going Organic Workshop in Rutherford a Success

The CCOF Foundation continues to bring together current and potential organic producers through our 2015 Going Organic workshops. These events are intended for those who are interested in going organic but may not know where to start, or for currently certified operations looking for more producers to source organic from. Each workshop helps assess how close an operation is to being organic and details the steps necessary to transition towards organic certification.

Healthy Soils Program Funds Available for Farmers—CCOF Can Help!

CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program is now accepting applications for grants to farmers and ranchers who implement on-farm practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon in soil, trees, and shrubs. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on September 19, 2017. 
 

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