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How You Can Help Organic Farmers Keep Their Land

by Shawna Rodgers |

When Ge Moua and her family purchased their first plot of land in August of last year, they never could have foreseen the challenges 2020 would bring. Owning their own land was supposed to bring them stability after a decade of farming organically on leased plots that were continually sold to developers, causing the Mouas to start over again each time. Seven months after becoming landowners, however, the coronavirus pandemic shuttered farmers’ markets in Sacramento, where the Mouas sell their produce and make the majority of their sales. 

The Mouas owed $3,149 in property taxes that were due during the pandemic, a time when Moua Farms had virtually zero produce sales. Even after the farmers’ markets reopened this summer, Moua and her spouse saw a dramatic drop in income. “Consumers are still scared to shop with regularity,” Moua explained. “We are bringing home produce and flowers from the market every week. The only upside is that I have plenty of seeds for next season, so I won’t need to buy seeds, at least.”

Despite the setbacks, challenges, and looming tax bills, the Mouas will stay on their land and keep farming organically thanks to the financial assistance they received from the CCOF Foundation’s Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. “I am so grateful to the CCOF Foundation for thinking of us small farmers when times get difficult. I can’t imagine not having had your support in 2020. We were hoping it was going to be such a good year; we finally bought our own land, and, without your support, we may not have been able to stay,” said Moua.

This year alone, the CCOF regional chapters, in partnership with Farm Aid, donated $40,000 to other farmers who need a helping hand in 2020 through our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. By donating to the CCOF Foundation, you can also help an organic farmer weather the pandemic, natural disasters, and other hardships, and give them the ability to keep growing the healthy food we serve our families. Plus, your donation is matched by Santa Cruz Gives this year, so it goes even furtherHelp an organic farmer today.

The Bricmont fund gives grants to organic businesses affected by hardship, including the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters like the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. We have already received four times as many applications for financial assistance this year, and we need your help to meet this increased need in our organic farming community.

The Moua family’s choice to farm organically keeps their community thriving, providing organic food and keeping local air, water, and soil healthy for generations to come. Make a donation today to support essential workers like the Mouas and help them stay in business in a difficult year. 

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