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Do you want to change the way the world eats?

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.

Farm Bill Expires Today

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. 

Farmers Have Until May 5 to Renew CSP Contracts

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications to re-enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) through May 5, 2017. This renewal option is specifically for farmers and ranchers who enrolled in CSP initially in 2013.

Federal Activity on Organic Abounds

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:

Federal Funds Available to Help Pay for Organic Certification Fees

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $2,180,870 for organic certification assistance to organic operations in California. Funds from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program are available through CDFA’s State Organic Program (SOP) to help more organic operations succeed and take advantage of economic opportunities in this growing market.

Follow Your Conservation Dream! But Do it Quickly Because Signups End April 19

This post was written by Anita Brown, public affairs director, USDA NRCS California

Free Financial Assistance from the CA Agricultural Mediation Program

Farmers and ranchers are independent and resilient, and their relationships with creditors are often long-term and critical for the future of their businesses. When markets, weather, or other conditions create farm losses, the resulting financial challenges can be difficult to untangle. If you face challenges repaying farm bills and debt, the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) can help. CALAMP works with farmers to develop a feasible plan to move forward.

Funds Available for Water, Energy Efficiency

The state of California recently opened a second round of funding to help farms reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Funds for the program, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), were included in emergency drought legislation passed earlier this year.

Help Organic Farms Affected by Fire—Donate to the CCOF Foundation

News that many of our organic operations have been impacted by the wildfires raging throughout California has rippled through the CCOF offices this week. Inspectors, chapter members, and certified members have called to see how CCOF can lend a hand. CCOF’s Bricmont Fund is poised to help organic operations in their time of need, but we have limited funds to give away as hardship assistance grants this year. We need your help to raise additional funds to support wildfire victims in California.

How a Kiva Zip Loan Can Help Small Farms

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.

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