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"Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads.
How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?"
 
-Jane Goodall, Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating
 

Organic Information
(The following information was taken from the CCOF Organic Directory and Resource Guide)
 
  • What does "organic" mean?  Organic food is produced without using harmful or toxic pesticides, sewage, sludge or petroleum based synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified (GMOs), bio-engineering or ionizing radiation.
 
  • "The presence of the USDA and/or CCOF (California Ceritfied Organic Farmers) seal on a product guarantees that the product has been grown, produced, inspected and certified to be in compliance with federal organic regulations.
 
  • Beware of Other Labeling:  Food labeling can often be misleading and confusing, which is why "certified organic" is an important choice for consumers.  There are no federal standards for "Natural", "Local", or "Sustainable" claims.  These products may include toxic pesticides, genetically modified organisms or synthetic substances that are prohibited in organic production.
 
  • "No spray", "Pesticide Free" and "Residue Free" do not insure that your food is oranic.  Claims like "pesticide free" may mean that the edible parts of a crop have not been sprayed with harmful chemicals; however, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides may have been used to grow the food.
 
     The number of acres of organic citrus grown in California in 2008 were 2,267 acres; in 2013 there were 5,278 acres.  
 
       All organic ranches managed by Kingsburg Citrus Ranch are CCOF Certified.  The following is a list of organic citrus grown by Kingsburg Citrus Ranch.
  • 368.97 acres of Navel Oranges
  • 38.29 acres of Valencia Oranges
  • 27.54 acres of Grapefruit
  • 70.13 acres of Lemons
  • 10.30 acres of Pomelos
  • 26.24 acres Minneola Tangelos

From EcoFarm Newsletter:
Excerpt from article by Ken Dickerson, Executive Director
For more information from EcoFarm, please go to their website at www.eco-farm.org

The theme of the 36th annual EcoFarm Conference, has been set. "Regenerating our Lands and Water".  It is inspired by our recognition of the urgent need for a widespread, mainstream shift to holistic, ecological management of the land and water.  Biologically active, living soils built through ecological farming can reverse climate change by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere back into the ground.  Health, living soils can also mitigate the effects of drought.  These needs can be addressed with the knowledge and experience of our EcoFarm community, equipped with many decades of practice.  Our collective ecological literacy can guide us practically in the field.  The question remains - how do we expand our regenerative work into the mainstream?
 
Working together and coordinating our efforts is how we will get there. EcoFarmers don't let fear of competition keep them from teaching one another.  Conference attendees are regularly amazed to hear successful farmers and businesses share their insights and inside information.  It's this dedication to the common goal of a safe, healthy, and just food and farming system that identifies us as a movement and not just another sector of the economy.  As the saying goes, "A rising tide lifts all boats," which is what it will take to overcome the incredible challenges and regenerate our lands, waters, farms, and communities.
 
We are at a tipping point for a whole systems shift, with orgainic farming holding a larger share of the food system than ever before.  The movement is ripe for change.  We do not have to rely on a system that is dependent on poisons, exposing ourselves to endocrine disrupting and cancer-causing chemicals that accumulate in our bodies and in the environment.  We have proven that we can have a productive biological and ecological food and farming system.  We can feed the planet using these methods which also build soil, sequester carbon, protect the air and water, use resources efficiently, value workers, conserve native flora and fauna, and produce the most nourishing foods. By working together, we will reach that "someday" when we look back at growing our food using poisons as a thing of the past.
 

From EcoFarm Newsletter:
Excerpt from article by Kelly Bradford
For complete article go to www.eco-farm.org

In February 2014, the Ecological Farming Association working with the EcoFarm Farmer Fellows initiated a new farmers' association, now formally known as the Ecological Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (EFRA), as renamed by the farmers.  We are and alliance of diverse operations from the broader ecological agriculture community with the mission to further the success of Triple Bottom Line ecological farmers and ranchers through member-led collaborative programs.
 
During the past year we have continued to work on our high priority projects, define our memberships, set tangible goals for the near and long term, and foster sensible and fruitful collaborations with organizations that share common goals and vision with our Triple Bottom Line:  people, planet and profit.
Survey shows California leads in organic production
From September 23, 2015 AgAlert
Republished with permission from AgAlert/California Farm Bureau Federation
www.agalert.com    www.cfbf.com
A new report shows California leading most categories of organic agricultural production in the United States.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released results from its 2014 Organic Survey last week, reporting that the nation's organic farms sold $5.5 billion in products last year, up 78 percent from sales reported in the previous organic survey in 2008.
 
At $2.2 billion in sales, California accounted for 41 percent of the national total, USDA reported, noting that the top 10 states in organic production represented more than three-quarters of sales.
 
Of the organic sales, 60 percent were generated from crops, 28 percent from livestock and poultry products, and the remaining 12 percent from sales of organic livestock and poultry.
 
"In each group, organic sales are up substantially from 2008," the report said.
 
The survey, conducted as part of a U.S. Census of Agriculture program, tallied 14,093 organic farms, of which 2,805 -- or 20 percent -- were based in California.  Wisconsin was the only other state to have more than 1,000 organic farms, with 1,228.
 
The total number of organic farms was slightly fewer than the previous survey in 2008, USDA said, while noting that the number of certified organic farms increased by 16 percent in the same period.  The survey also captured farms considered exempt from certification because they gross less than $5,000 annually from organic sales.
 
California has 687,000 acres of land in organic production, more than twice the total of the No. 2 state, Montana.  Nationally, certified and exempt farms accounted for 3.7 million acres of organic production, USDA said, down from the 4.1 million reported in the 2008 survey.
 
Among specific commodities, milk and eggs represented the top two organically grown products in sales value, with milk accounting for nearly $1.1 billion in sales nationally and eggs $420 million.
 
Sales of California-raised orgainic livestock and poultry products totaled $301 million in 2014, leading the nation and representing 20 percent of the U.S. total.  California also recorded $271 million in organic livestock sales, or 41 percent of the national figure.
 
Fully half of the nation's sales of organic crops came from California, totaling more than $1.6 billion last year.
 
Nationally, lettuce, apples and grapes were the top-selling organic crops.  Lettuce sales totaled $264 mllion; apples, $250 million; and grapes, $195 million.  Spinach was the only other crop to register more than $100 million in sales, at $117 million.
 
Seventy-eight percent of all organic sales nationally went to wholesale markets, with 14 percent sold directly to retailers or institutions, and the remaining 8 percent through direct-to-consumer sales.  The proportions for California varied from the the national figures, with 72 percent of sales to whole-sale markets, 23 percent directly to retailers or institutions, and 5 percent directly to individuals.
 
Organic farms across the nation spent nearly $4 billion in production expenses in 2014, with feed and hired labor representing the top two expenses, each accounting for about 23 percent of the total.
 
In California, organic farms reported more than $1.7 billion in production expenses, with hired labor accounting for 28 percent of the total and livestock feed 17 percent.
 
About 45 percent of California's organic farms and ranches said they plan to maintain their current level of organic production during the next five years; 34 percent said they plan to expand and 6 percent said they would decrease or discontinue organic production.  The remaining farmers said they did not know their plans.
 
The proportions were similar nationally, with 43 percent of farms planning to maintain current levels of organic production, 39 percent planning to expand and 5 percent planning to decrease or discontinue.
 
Survey results may be found at www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Organic_Survey.