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New USDA Microloans Expand Small Farm Finance Options

This post was written by Val Dolcini, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California

New Whole-Farm Crop Insurance Provides Options for Organic Farmers and Ranchers

A new type of crop insurance, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, may better serve highly diversified organic crop and livestock producers than traditional crop insurance policies. Rather than covering losses of a particular crop, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection covers all crops and livestock produced on a single farm.

Northern California Fire Relief Efforts

CCOF is deeply concerned about the impact the fires are having on many of our members in Northern California. In response to this devastating tragedy that has taken too many lives, homes, acres, and decades’ worth of work and devotion, CCOF is taking measures to help affected members. 
 

Northern California Fire Relief Efforts Update

CCOF is terribly saddened by the extensive and profound ways in which thousands of people have been affected by the fires. We are also inspired by the overwhelming compassion, community effort, and solidarity in the face of such adversity.  While we are working one-on-one with many affected CCOF clients—some of whom are experiencing severe to total losses—our hope for recovery continues to strengthen as we are also getting an incredible wave of people who are looking to help their fellow growers, producers, and ranchers.  
 

OFRF Receives OREI Grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) a grant to evaluate federal organic research programs. 
 
USDA awarded the grant through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). This year, USDA awarded $23 million in grants under OREI and the Organic Transitions program to improve the competitiveness of organic crop and livestock producers.
 

Organic Buffer Plantings Eligible for Conservation Payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that new buffer plantings around organic fields are eligible for rental payments and cost-share if they are enrolled in 10-15 year conservation contracts.

Part of the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP), the new organic option is open for sign-up throughout the year and is not subject to bidding and ranking processes. Instead, land is enrolled automatically if it qualifies for the program.

Organic Certification Cost Share Is Back! Get a Refund of Your Organic Certification Fees

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2017 applications!
 
This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. Beginning in 2017, operations located in California can also receive a refund of their State Organic Program registration fees. 
 

Organic Certification Cost Share Is Back! Get a Refund of Your Organic Certification Fees

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2015 applications!

This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope.

Post-Fiscal Cliff Farm Bill Update

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry.

President Signs Farm Bill into Law

Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers

Today, President Obama signed a farm bill into law that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. Among the wins for organic was the National Organic Certification Cost Share program, a main focus of CCOF’s policy work last year through visits to Congress members and dozens of emails and calls by CCOF members. 

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