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Written by Gaea Denker on Monday, February 26, 2024

Yadira Mendiola, Queen of Vegetables farm owner/operator and CCOF Organic Transition Program grantee

This year at Natural Products Expo West, Daily Harvest’s new CEO Ricky Silver will join CCOF Chief Program Officer Jessy Beckett Parr and program leads from the American Farmland Trust (AFT) for a panel discussion about the trio’s multi-year program that supports small-scale BIPOC farmers' transition to organic with direct financial support, one-on-one technical assistance, market access support, and mentorship. 

Join us on Thursday from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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Dairy Cow Herd on Alexandre EcoDairy Farm

Dairy Cow Herd on Alexandre EcoDairy Farm

Applications from dairy processors in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington will be due February 29 for grants that will provide funding for pandemic recovery and for modernizing, specializing, expanding, investigating and/or marketing regionally produced higher-value milk products.

According to information provided by the Pacific Coast Coalition’s Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, the majority of available funding is for pandemic recovery grants, which can address price declines and additional…

Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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Supporting Small-Scale BIPOC Conference Speakers

Supporting Small-Scale BIPOC Farmers’s Transition to Organic Conference Speakers. Left to Right: Yadira Mendiola (Queen of Vegetables and CCOF grantee), Adrian Fischer (Program Director, CCOF Foundation), Christina Guitierez Williams (Daily Harvest), Deborah Nares (American Farmland Trust)

CCOF was proud to partner with American Farmland Trust and Daily Harvest to hold a panel at EcoFarm on January 18 entitled Supporting Small-Scale BIPOC Farmers’ Transition to Organic. 

In the session, Adrian Fischer, (program director, CCOF Foundation), presented on the approach to this…

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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Working with the natural landscape at 123 Farm. Photo by Liz Birnbaum at The Curated Feast

Regenerative practices begin with soil health. Photo by Liz Birnbaum at The Curated Feast

The Marin Agricultural Land Trust’s (MALT’s) small grants program is opening a round of funding in late February that will focus on protecting biodiversity in agricultural working lands. 

The goal of this small grants cycle is to provide resources to help agriculturalists promote biodiversity in their working lands.

Funding Focus

Grants up to $50,000 will fund practices that promote biodiversity through innovative approaches and techniques. Projects will help increase…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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Charolette Epps, CCOF Foundation grantee, in the greenhouse with her variety of sweet potato plants

Charolette Epps, CCOF Foundation grantee, in the greenhouse with her variety of sweet potato plants

The USDA is now accepting applications for grants to help agricultural producers maximize the value of their products and venture into new and better markets. 

Electronic applications are due April 11, 2024, and paper applications must be postmarked by April 16, 2024. More information on submission dates below.

The USDA is making the grants available under the Value-Added Producer Grants program. The grants help farmers and ranchers generate new products, create…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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Working with the natural landscape at 123 Farm. Photo by Liz Birnbaum at The Curated Feast

Working with the natural landscape at 123 Farm. Photo by Liz Birnbaum at The Curated Feast

We need you to take action for organic. Join the virtual listening session on February 22, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. PST and tell the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that organic agriculture is regenerative and that the state’s definition of regenerative should start with organic certification.

What’s at stake? Greenwashing, consumer confusion, and misuse of taxpayer dollars to name a few. The state of California is in the process of defining the term regenerative…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Organic Insider, a self-proclaimed organic newsletter and aggregator, published false and misleading information about CCOF on Feb 7th, 2024. The publication refused to take a statement from CCOF over the phone and did not present any independent research to verify their allegations. CCOF is a proud and trusted leader in the organic movement, and we feel it is necessary to protect the reputation of organic certification and the integrity of thousands of hardworking certified farmers and producers from those who either purposely or naively spread disinformation. 

CCOF is a mid-size…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

OrganicEye is attempting to fundraise for their staff salaries by discrediting certifiers who maintain producer governance and engagement.
In December 2023, OrganicEye launched a fundraising campaign that centers around ending organic producer governance and services. From the beginning, the organic community has been self-made – we have self-funded research, technical assistance, and education. We have always worked in partnership to advocate as underdogs for federal and state funding, regulatory exemptions for organic producers, and other critical needs.

Now, after over…

Written by Gaea Denker on Wednesday, February 7, 2024
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Row Crops

The Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) is a $300 million multi-agency USDA effort to support certified organic and transitioning-to-organic producers and strengthen organic markets.

Through OTI, the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) has made $75M in cost-share grant funding available to organic and transitioning-to-organic producers.

Although NRCS has set a national deadline for OTI of March 1, 2024, state deadlines may differ; check with your NRCS representative, info below, on local deadlines! 

State Deadlines:

Arizona: Feb 2, 2024 (General EQIP…
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 5, 2024
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Drip lines in field

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Monterey County will highlight compliance with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Ag Order 4.0 at its upcoming Irrigation and Nutrient Management meeting on February 20.

The free workshop will feature lunch and live translation to Spanish. It will be held at the UCCE Agriculture Conference Room at 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program will start at 7:55 a.m.; and the program will end at 2:15 p.m.

Presentations will include 

Managing runoff during the…
Written by Gaea Denker on Monday, February 5, 2024
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Ismael Perez

Ismael Perez grew up in California’s Central Coast region, a prolific agricultural area that’s well known for producing the vast majority of the United States’ berries, lettuces, artichokes, and other fresh produce. As soon as he graduated high school, Ismael himself got involved in the berry industry by getting a summer job picking raspberries. That summer job rolled into more berrypicking summers, and eventually Ismael was given enough promotions that he was working every day of the week with time off only for attending school at San Jose State University. 

The work-school…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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Emma Kloes

CCOF is invested in the future of organic, and the Future Organic Farmers grant is an investment in our future food system. The more beginning farmers who pursue organic, the more we increase organic acreage and feed our communities organic food.

Emma Kloes, 2023 Future Organic Farmer, is studying at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and is a second year Organic Vegetable Farm Management Apprentice. Emma is an emerging organic leader and believes this apprenticeship is “an educational hub where people can come to learn and be in relationship with each other and land and […

Written by Jane Sooby on Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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Bee on Flower

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is accepting applications for three popular conservation priorities through February 16, 2024. This funding is in addition to the millions available to California’s agricultural producers through the regular Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the new Inflation Reduction Act.

“NRCS California is committed to assisting agricultural producers to address critical resource needs across the state, and these three popular initiatives go even further with strategic enhancements on farms and ranches,” said…

Written by Jane Sooby on Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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soil in hands

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The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $12 million in grant funding for Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentive Grants. The program is currently accepting grant applications through 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, February 9, 2024. 

The objectives of the program are to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). 

California farmers, ranchers, business entities, California Native…

Written by Hanali Lopez-Tapia on Monday, January 22, 2024
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Steve Bains, OTP grantee, Cohort 2024, and his daughter

Steve Bains, OTP grantee, Cohort 2024, and his daughter

The CCOF Foundation is proud to announce our 2024 Organic Transition Program cohort! Thanks to the generosity of our donors, who are passionate about organic, we are supporting 10 farmers with $10,000 per year for transitioning their land to organic production over the next three years. 

This three-year period is incredibly risky for farmers—they’re learning new farming techniques, creating new systems for their businesses, and cultivating new markets for their soon-to-be-organic products, all while growing food…