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$12.2 Million Available in USDA Funding for Rural Microentrepreneurs

Last week, USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of loan and grant funds to support rural microenterprises. Many CCOF operations fit the profiles of what could be funded under this micro-granting program.

$20 million Announced in Assistance for Drought-Impacted Producers

We were thrilled this morning to learn that the USDA is making $20 million available in assistance to California producers affected by drought. I was on a conference call this morning with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as he made this announcement. He was joined by Representative Jim Costa and CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, who spoke about the implications of the drought and their commitment to helping farmers.

2013 CCOF Bricmont Fund, a Hardship Assistance Program

Since 2007, CCOF has allocated funds to partially offset certification costs for clients who have experienced extreme hardships. Such funding has been primarily used for supporting clients that have experienced drought, invasive pest losses or quarantines, or other natural disasters. In 2013, the program was renamed to honor Barney Bricmont, one of our founding members. We are pleased to announce $10,000 available in Hardship Assistance Program funds for 2013.

2014 Bricmont Financial-Hardship Assistance Program Opens October 14

The Bricmont Fund provides direct financial assistance exclusively to organic producers and processors/handlers who suffer losses due to extreme hardship. Since 2007 CCOF has distributed funds annually to members of the organic community who are in need.

Curious if you are eligible? The requirements are fairly simple:

2014 CCOF Drought Disaster Assistance Program

As organic operations face unprecedented drought conditions in the western region in 2014, CCOF continues to provide support and information to help organic operations through this difficult time. We are pleased to announce availability of special hardship funds for any certified organic producers who are having a hard time making ends meet this spring due to damage caused by drought.

2014 Cost Share Eligibility Period Closes September 30

The eligibility period for reimbursement under the Organic Cost Share Program closes September 30 for the 2014 fiscal year.

The Cost Share Program helps operations manage the costs of organic certification. Under the program, an operation may be reimbursed for up to 75% of their certification costs, not to exceed $750 per certification.

Certification expenses paid by September 30 are eligible for 2014 reimbursement, and expenses paid after September 30 are eligible for 2015 reimbursement.

A Conversation with Chris Hay of Say Hay Farms

This interview originally appeared in Certified Organic magazine, fall 2012, by Matt Boitano, CCOF Intern.

Most people think of mobile homes as a place to live, but not Chris Hay. He uses them for pest management on his eight-acre farm in Woodland, California, where he harvests a variety of fruits, vegetables, and chickens.

Apply Now for Refund of Certification Costs

The certification cost-share program is back!

Thanks to the diligence of the organic community, certification cost-share is fully funded for 2014.

This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope.

Bricmont Fund Hardship Assistance Deadline, December 10

Had an extremely hard year? Drought? Illness? Hurricane? CCOF’s Bricmont Fund may be able to help! 

Call Your State Conservationist Today and Give Valuable Input!

CCOF encourages growers who implement conservation practices to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS is undertaking a major “reboot” of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which will be implemented at the beginning of 2016. This “reboot” is an important opportunity for farmers to provide feedback to the NRCS. Specifically, CCOF is encouraging the NRCS to make the following improvements to CSP:

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