Blog posts by funding

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 23, 2014 on assistance, funding


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. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is responsible for administering this program in California, though the funds originate with the federal government. Everyone who is registered as organic...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, June 9, 2014 on foundation, funding, Grants


The deadlines for two categories of the CCOF Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is fast approaching. In a statewide partnership with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, kindergarten through eighth grade grants of $1,000 are currently available for organic classroom projects in California schools. Applications Due: Friday June 13. Apply now! Made possible through a collaboration with UNFI, direct grants of $2,500 for vocational and higher education in organic agriculture are now available for students across the United States. Applications Due: Friday June 13. Apply now...
Written by Jane Sooby on Thursday, April 3, 2014 on assistance, drought, funding


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. ¿Necesita información en español? Thanks to a special grant from Farm Aid, CCOF is joining with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) to make these funds available to growers affected by the drought....
Written by Brise Tencer on Thursday, February 20, 2014 on advocacy, farm bill, funding

Since the farm bill has been signed by President Obama, CCOF is looking forward to implementation of the programs that support the organic sector. Meanwhile, organic efforts are moving forward on many federal fronts. Here are the details: The Agricultural Marketing Service, home agency of the USDA National Organic Program, mailed an organic Market News survey to 12,000 certified organic, transitional, and exempt producers earlier in February. Survey questions focus on how organic producers acquire market information, how they price and sell their products, and to what degree they use AMS’s...
Written by Brise Tencer on Friday, February 7, 2014 on advocacy, drought, farm bill, funding

Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers Today, President Obama signed a farm bill into law that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. Among the wins for organic was the National Organic Certification Cost Share program, a main focus of CCOF’s policy work last year through visits to Congress members and dozens of emails and calls by CCOF members.  The National Organic Certification Cost Share program helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by reimbursing them for up to 75 percent of their certification costs...
Written by Brise Tencer on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 on advocacy, drought, funding

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. The funds will be available for both crop and grazing land, and will focus on conservation practices that conserve and protect water. Funds are available to install a number of conservation...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 on foundation, funding

So do we. That’s why we are investing in the CCOF Foundation and asking you to join us by making your own tax-deductible contribution before the end of this year. Between 2005 and 2009, the CCOF Foundation led the Going Organic project to provide information about organic certification and production to hundreds of agricultural professionals and helped 40 farmers to convert more than 4,000 acres to organic production. Going Organic also supported the introduction of the USDA organic seal by promoting its acceptance. Organic seems to be everywhere from the local farmers' market and farm stand...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 on funding, grower

This blog post was written by Sarah Tait of Kiva Zip and Alan Haight of Riverhill Farm. Kiva Zip is a nonprofit located in San Francisco, California, that offers 0% interest loans up to $5,000 to financially excluded entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital. Kiva Zip is actively looking for small farms and food producers that could benefit from their program. Alan and his wife Jo, owners of Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, California, are one such example of a small farm benefitting from a Kiva Zip loan. They used their Kiva Zip loan to purchase equipment for their farm...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 on funding

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. Please submit this simple one-page request to apply for relief funding. Funding is limited and will be awarded based on need and the...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, September 30, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, funding

Much to the dismay of sustainable agriculture advocates across the nation, the farm bill expires today. For those outside of the agricultural sector, this may have been overshadowed by the budget debate and the looming threat of a government shutdown.  However, for farmers across the country, this unusual farm bill impasse, caused primarily by partisan fighting over efforts to cut the SNAP program (formerly known as food stamps benefits), brings uncertainty that threatens their business. Last year’s attempt to pass a farm bill resulted in a nine-month extension of 2008 Farm Bill programs,...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Thursday, September 26, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, funding

In 2012, CCOF and four other California Central Coast sustainable agriculture organizations — the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), and the Ecological Farming Association (EFA) — received funding from the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP), a new granting program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as part of the farm bill. The funding from BFRDP allowed this group of organizations to create a Farmer Education Network (known for short as FEN). FEN’s goal is to cross-pollinate...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 on farm bill, funding

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. USDA's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) was established under the 2008 Farm Bill to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, which are defined as rural businesses with ten or fewer employees. About $12.2 million will be provided to eligible applicants this year. Under the program, USDA may...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 on funding, grower, livestock

This post was written by Anita Brown, public affairs director, USDA NRCS California Many organic farmers have dreams of a conservation project they would love to tackle: a multipurpose hedgerow; an efficient, water-saving irrigation system and schedule; a comprehensive plan to build soil organic matter; a hoop house to extend the growing season for local customers. However, the day-to-day demands of farming can leave those dreams stuck on a back burner.  For those who haven’t heard, there is a relatively new resource to help you get cooking on those projects, and over 200 California organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Thursday, February 7, 2013 on funding, grower, livestock

This post was written by Val Dolcini, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California There’s a new USDA loan program that might be the perfect fit for beginning farmers and ranchers seeking access to capital. On January 15, the USDA Farm Service Agency rolled out a new Microloan program designed to help farmers and ranchers with credit needs of $35,000 or less. This new credit tool simplifies and streamlines the process for farmers obtaining loans under $35,000; it cuts the paperwork burden in half and is built to fit the needs of smaller-scale farmers and ranchers. ...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, January 14, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, funding, policy

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry. Organic farmers were hit particularly hard by this move as no funding was provided for the Organic Data Initiative (which provides for price reporting and...

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