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Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers

(January 29, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a farm bill that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming days. 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.

Cost Share - A Refund of 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.

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.

Funding Opportunity for Small Farmers from the FruitGuys Community Fund

The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity.FruitGuys

Last Chance to Apply for Your Refund Through Cost Share

The application deadline for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is fast approaching!

Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 may apply for reimbursement by October 31, 2015.

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.

New “Farmers’ Guide” Helps Organic Producers Apply for Buffer Initiative

On May 13, 2016, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups.

NRCS Making Air Quality Incentives Available to Agricultural Producers

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making air quality funds available to help agricultural producers improve and maintain air quality within designated nonattainment areas of California. Funding for the National Air Quality Initiative (NAQI) is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Producers interested in participating in this initiative are encouraged to get their applications in soon.

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.

Sign Up Now for Conservation and Bird Habitat Programs

Organic farmers and ranchers can sign up now for technical assistance and funding from two different programs. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to take land out of production and restore it with resource-conserving plant species. The Working Lands for Wildlife program offers funds to restore and protect habitat for greater sage grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher.

Value-Added Producer Grants Webinar on May 6

CCOF partner organization National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is teaming up with USDA’s Rural Development to present a free webinar on Friday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT that explains Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) in depth and presents tips on how to successfully apply.

VAPG provide funds to individual agricultural producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and other producer groups to develop marketing plans or acquire working capital for a value-added enterprise.

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