Hardship Assistance

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The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund

The CCOF Foundation’s Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives direct financial assistance to organic producers.

Currently Open: Drought Relief - Grants for Organic Farmers and Ranchers in California

CCOF has partnered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to administer drought relief grants through the California Small and Underserved Producer Program. These are reimbursement grants for expenses incurred as a result of drought. 

Drought relief funding is only open to organic farmers and ranchers in California. Funding is  prioritized for small-scale operations and for underserved (socially disadvantaged) communities as described in CDFA’s Farmer Equity Report.

Grant amounts range between $5,000 to $20,000.

Drought Relief applicant requirements:

  • Be a certified organic operation with a valid organic certificate from any third-party USDA-accredited certifier (CDFA registration alone is not sufficient).
  • Submit a complete and detailed description of hardship.
  • Submit supporting financial documentation of economic loss (examples: Profit and Loss Statements from current and previous years, tax documentation such as Schedule F).
  • Submit a final progress report one year after grant is awarded (for grant recipients only). 
  • Must be an organic farming or ranching business in California.
  • Grant funds cannot be used for organic certification fees.
  • First-time applicants, established producers, and underserved producers will be prioritized.

Timeline and Details:

  • Application must be completed online – click HERE to access the application; click HERE to review sample application questions prior to beginning the application.
  • Applications accepted year-round with no deadline. Awards are given on a rolling basis. 
  • Grants are prioritized as “first come, first served” for fully complete applications. 
  • Applications missing required documentation will not be processed until the missing information is received.
  • Applicants will be followed up with a maximum of two times, then the application will be dismissed and remain unprocessed until missing documentation is received.
  • Applications take approximately 8 weeks to process. Please expect a response back within that timeframe via email notification.

Examples of covered expenses can include but are not limited to:

  • Increased electric utility bills of 50% or more due to increased electricity rates.
  • Surface water costs if increase from year prior.
  • Cost of hauling water for livestock.
  • Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost.
  • Emergency upgrades to irrigation system (paired with conservation) if not covered through CDFA OEFI programs or USDA programs and for other emergency scenarios.
  • Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to less water available or having to fallow land.
  • Drilling of new wells or repairs on existing wells if sole source of water for operation. To be eligible, an applicant must provide written verification from a Groundwater Sustainability Agency managing the basin or area of the basin where the well is located or proposed to be located approving the action, per Executive Order N-7-22.

NOT Covered:

  • Upgrading to a larger pump that will draw more water

Producers are eligible for a maximum of $20,000 per 12-month period through CDFA CUSP funding.  Only California organic producers are eligible for CDFA CUSP Drought Relief funding.  

To Apply: Application must be completed online. Click this link to begin your application. Applications must be filled out completely, including financial documentation, to be eligible for consideration. The application is available in both English and Spanish. 

Community support is at the heart of the CCOF Foundation and we’re here to support you. If you have questions or need assistance in completing your application, please reach out to Larissa Hernandez at grants@ccof.org. Se habla español.