(April 3, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – CCOF is pleased to announce availability of special hardship funds for certified organic producers who are having a hard time making ends meet this spring due to damage caused by drought.
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. CCOF chapters across the state are also contributing to the emergency drought fund to increase the number of families that can be helped through this program.
CCOF will offer drought disaster grants to certified organic farmers while CAFF will offer the grants to family farmers who use sustainable agriculture practices. The CCOF funds are available to any certified organic producer, not only those certified by CCOF.
Each eligible producer may apply for a $500 grant to offset drought impacts on their families. CCOF requirements for eligibility include:
Preference will be given to farms that match the federal definition of a small family farm (those that have gross annual sales less than $250,000).
To qualify for emergency funds, completely fill out an application form and send to CCOF by April 30. Please call the CCOF office for an application or download one at www.ccof.org/drought-disaster-assistance. CCOF expects to release funds by the end of May.
In addition to offering this direct drought disaster assistance, CCOF supported regulatory measures to ease drought impacts on California livestock producers and is facilitating access (for livestock feed) to organic crop wastes or culls. A list of drought resources for organic producers is available at www.ccof.org/drought-resources.
For more information, contact CCOF Policy and Outreach Specialist Jane Sooby at (831) 423-2263, ext. 49 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-organic producers, contact CAFF Water Program Coordinator Kendall Lambert at (510) 832-4625, ext. 13 or email@example.com.
CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1973 and is one of the nation’s oldest and largest third-party organic certifying agencies. CCOF certifies, educates, advocates, and promotes organic through:
• A premier organic certification program for growers, processors, handlers, and retailers.
• Programs to increase awareness of and demand for certified organic product and to expand public support for organic agriculture.
• Advocacy for governmental policies that protect and encourage organic agriculture.
CCOF certifies more than 2,700 organic operations in 38 states and three countries.
For further information on CCOF visit: www.ccof.org