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Grants for Organic Transition

$10,000 grants to farmers transitioning their land to organic production

Looking for financial support during your organic transition process?

When farmers transition their land from conventional to organic, they have to wait three years before achieving certification and selling their products as organic. This three-year period is incredibly risky for farmers—they’re learning new farming techniques, creating new systems for their business, and cultivating a new market for their soon-to-be-organic products, all while growing food without earning the price premiums afforded to certified organic goods.

Organic Transition grants eliminate the financial barrier for farmers who want to make the leap to organic production. These grants and technical assistance are available to small farmers in California who are interested in transitioning to organic production.

Program participants receive grants, mentorship, and technical support in agronomy, business and financial literacy, marketing, and market development over a three-year period.

Grant Amount: $10,000 per year for three years, for a total of $30,000.
There may be the opportunity for eligible transitioning farmers to qualify for an additional $1,000/transitioning acre up to 30 acres for soil building practices.

About the Grant

Organic Transition grant applicants must:

  • Be farming or ranching in California (and must reside in California)
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Already be practicing regenerative organic production methods
  • Provide written documentation of landowner’s approval to transition if renting/leasing
  • Have a business plan, marketing plan (for after certification), and/or an Organic Systems Plan for transitioning to certified organic production and/or be in the process of completing these plans
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Submit supporting financial documentation (i.e. Profit and Loss Statements from current and previous years)
  • Have a minimum of five years of agricultural production experience
  • Have at least two years of running or owning a farming or ranching business and/or equivalent experience
  • Be willing to conduct an interview as part of the application process
  • Submit a Letter of Reference with your application
  • Submit a yearly report and a final report at the end of the grant period

Producers of all crop and livestock eligible for organic certification are encouraged to apply.

Applicants from underserved and socially disadvantaged communities, as well as small and medium sized farms and ranches, will be prioritized.  

Grantees will be required to track and retain all records of grant funding expenditures;

Grantees will be required to cooperate with the CCOF Foundation to provide information related, but not limited to certification, acreage, crops, land mapping, and organic transition plans.

Allowable Costs:

  • Organic livestock, poultry, and related expenses, such as animal health management required by organic standards;
  • Organic feed;
  • Educational materials, training on organic certification and production, or meeting attendance, in addition to services offered by CCOF;
  • Inspection and certification fees;
  • On-farm water or soil testing fees;
  • Outside consultant fees if desired, as for development of an Organic System Plan (OSP);
  • Farming supplies to be applied to organic farming on the transitioning acres, such as organic-approved plastic mulch;
  • Farm equipment and repair to that equipment, where equipment is specific or widely preferred for organic farming of the type expected to occur on the transitioning acres. Qualifying equipment must be drawn from the following list, or authorized by CDFA:
    • Compost production, storage or spreading installations and equipment;
    • Weed management tools such as flamers or tines, tarps, row cover;
    • Transplanting or direct seeding equipment;
    • Intercropping equipment and modifications;
    • IPM-aligned equipment;
    • Other cover-cropping equipment;
  • On-farm processing and distribution equipment (e.g., peelers, coolers, produce washing, sorting and sizing bins, refrigerated vehicles for transporting whole or minimally processed food) where it is applicable to the products expected from transitioning acres.

Unallowable Costs: 

  • Property or land rent or lease;
  • Taxes;
  • Owner or employee labor;
  • Inputs for land outside the defined transitioning field(s), or for animals not dependent on the transitioning field(s).
  • 2024 Application Cycles:
    • Cycle 1: July 8 – August 2, 2024
    • Cycle 2: October 7 – November 1, 2024
  • Current OTP grantees need not re-apply.
  • The application is available in both English and Spanish.
  • For more information, contact Larissa Hernandez at or (831) 346-6324.

I am very grateful for the scholarship as it helped me take a step forward. It was really a big step forward. And I want to keep going, I want to reach my goal, I want to stay organic for a better world.

Yadira Mendiola , CCOF Grantee

Growing organically is important to take care of the land. It is important for good health and for people to eat healthy. It's the way we learned to farm traditionally in Mexico. The land we farm is very rich and does not need chemicals to produce very good crops.

Ignacio Romero , CCOF Grantee 

Commitment to my community is the biggest part of my work philosophy. Knowing that I am breaking generational habits of unhealthy eating and guiding my community to make more conscious decisions when it comes to their food contributes to my core values as a business owner.

Oliver Gayo , CCOF Grantee 
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Yadira Mendiola, OTP 2022 Grantee

Apply for financial assistance now