New Organic Consumer Messaging Campaign is Nothing You Should Ever Have to Read

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The demise of a mandatory organic research and promotion check-off program at the hands of the USDA came with great disappointment.

It also kindled a fiery commitment to the idea that something must be done.

Leading companies and individuals weren’t ready to give up the idea that collectively the organic industry could raise funds for research, education and promotion. Continue reading

A Tribute to CCOF’s Cathy Calfo: Her Guiding Light Advances Organic Agriculture

2018 Cathy Calfo 2018I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF.  Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic.

During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation.

Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood.

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Continue reading

Consider the Onion

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

You may ask why I should choose to reflect on the lowly onion. So pale and strong in its commonplace role in the kitchen. It marches forth into stews and soups alongside routine bedfellows of celery, carrot and spuds. We barely give onions a second thought as we shop and chop and cook. Yet, they were once of prominent importance and played a role in love and war and cuisines of the ages. Not always so mundane were these tender, translucent orbs of pungency.

Continue reading

Organic Programs Go Adrift During Government Shutdown

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The federal government shutdown is going on its fourth week with no clear resolution in sight. According to estimates from S&P Global, the shutdown has already cost the U.S. economy $3.6 billion, and If it continues two more weeks, the economic damage could surpass $5.7 billion.

The shutdown is causing issues for farmers across the nation. Local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices have been closed, affecting farmers with agency loans. Food safety inspectors are working while missing paychecks, and important Ag data isn’t being collected. What does the shutdown mean specifically for the Organic Sector?

Many organic programs are left without moorings in this uncharted territory. Continue reading

Meet Rhyne Cureton: The Next Generation of Future Organic Leaders

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I first met Rhyne Cureton at the “We Are Organic” CCOF Foundation dinner. He was the guest speaker as a CCOF Foundation 2018 grant recipient. He grew up in Charlotte, NC and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

I recently interviewed him. I first asked him to share what prompted him to choose agriculture as his career, and he said, “I always had an interest in working with animals. So, I transferred to A&T as an animal science major. I came to realize that agriculture is basically the fundamentals of human survival of civilization. It’s the background of all economics—the bread and butter of civilization. Agriculture isn’t just about farming; it’s about economics, energy research, education. It encompasses everything we do—whether it’s the clothes on your back, your housing and especially what you eat.” Continue reading