CCOF Partner Blog Roundup

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We are very excited to call CA Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) one of our partners! As the first organic certifier in the nation, CCOF has worked hard to support and promote organic agriculture through certification, education, and advocacy. Today, they are an incredibly rich resource, providing hands-on certification training, events and policy updates, local classifieds, educational resources, and twelve chapters across the state where farmers and consumers can organize events, advocate for organic research and develop new programs. They do a lot!

Since they do such great work, today we want to highlight the valuable resources and articles in their blog. Read on and enjoy this roundup of thought-provoking and practical features from CCOF!


Meet the First Recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants

“The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders. The CCOF Foundation and UNFI Foundation, along with Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, and Bradmer Foods have pooled their resources to support the education of new organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors…” Read more

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Member Spotlight: Bryce Loewen of Blossom Bluff Orchards

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Sun-dried fruit at Blossom Bluff Orchards

This week we’re featuring Bryce Loewen, of Blossom Bluff Orchards, in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Since 1931, his family has been producing a wide variety of high quality fruit. Today, they grow over 150 varieties of CCOF-certified tree fruit on just under 80 acres.

In addition to selling fresh fruit, an innovative part of their business plan is to dry fruit and sell it year-round. During the summer months, the leftover peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots are cut by hand, pitted, and then laid out on wooden raisin trays to dry naturally in the sun. During the cooler fall and winter months, they slice their persimmons and mandarins into thin disks and dry them in an industrial grade dehydrator. So tasty!

Read on as Bryce tells us about how he got into farming, what important pieces of advice he’s learned over the years, and where you can find his delicious fruit!

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Press Release: FarmsReach & CCOF Offer Financial Assistance to Aspiring Organic Farmers

FR_CCOF_FGMay 12, 2014

Berkeley, CA – Today FarmsReach and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) launched a new program to attract more California farmers to get their organic certification.  Any member of FarmsReach and their Farmers Guild Network can request a CCOF application fee-waiver, which saves farmers $325.

While many believe the application fee is a small investment for the premium prices earned selling certified-organic products, for many farmers the $325 application fee is cost-prohibitive.

“We’re excited about our new partnership and serving community-minded farmers that need financial assistance,” says Elizabeth Whitlow, CCOF Inspection Operations Supervisor.  “Often, a farmer may want to apply for certification, but they simply can’t afford it, may be misinformed about the process, or are overwhelmed by the application paperwork. We like the idea of building a community of aspiring and currently certified organic farmers through FarmsReach and its Farmers Guild Network.”

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Water Series: Pt 8 ~ Drought Effects & Tips from Central Valley’s Lonewillow Ranch

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Lonewillow Ranch goats getting ready for milking

Our Water & Drought Management series concludes today with drought management tips from Lonewillow Ranch in Firebaugh, CA. John Teixeira, farmer and owner, shares his story and strategies for coping with persistent drought in the Central Valley region. Read on to learn how John has adjusted his business and why he thinks the government needs to reevaluate water rights to farmers.

As we move on to our next two-month-long series on Labor & Worker Safety, we will continue to monitor the drought in CA, and highlight stories affecting the farming community. If you’ve integrated new irrigation or water management solutions on your farm, let us know! We’d love to continue to share your tips and insights.

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Business Succession: Planting the Seeds for an Abundant Future

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This article first appeared in the spring 2013 issue of Certified Organic Magazine.

Certified Organic Magazine is a quarterly publication from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Geared towards organic enthusiasts, this information-packed publication includes feature articles, client spotlights, certification news, advocacy updates, producer resources/tips and events.

Written by Jay Silverstein, partner at the business and accounting consulting firm, Moss Adams.

Whether retirement is near or far, thinking about who will take the reins and lead your farm into the future isn’t easy, but it’s especially relevant these days. According to the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), approximately 70 percent of U.S. farmland will go on the market in the next 20 years as the nation’s farmers age. Without a succession plan, many family-run farms are likely to go out of business, be bought by larger farms, or get turned over to real estate developers or other purchasers for nonagricultural use.

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Don’t Let the Food Safety Modernization Act Burden Family Farmers

The article below first appeared in Civil Eats on October 3, 2013.

Civil Eats is a valuable daily news source covering all topics around food and sustainable agriculture.  With over 100 contributors, the site has been a labor of love for the last four years.  Now with everyone’s help, Civil Eats would like to take their reporting and visually engaging content to the next level!  Please see their Kickstarter page to contribute to their continued coverage of our industry, and read on to learn about the very important issue of food safety policy!

Written by Dave Runsten (CAFF) & Brian Snyder (PASA).

Amidst the current furor over a government shutdown, the federal budget, debt ceiling, food stamps, immigration, and other programs that are either held up or being curtailed, another huge issue is quietly moving forward that could profoundly impact American agriculture and consumers.

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