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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.

Apply for SWEEP Grant to Improve Irrigation Efficiency by March 14

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) offers agricultural operations in California up to $100,000 to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water.

As noted in a previous CCOF blog entry, SWEEP funds can be used to install the following:

Assemblymember Irwin Introduces Bill to Help Farmers

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly, AB-2377, to establish a technical assistance grant program for farmers and ranchers applying for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The technical assistance grants will address the difficulty in designing, applying for, and implementing projects for the programs.
 

CDFA Accepting Applications for Healthy Soils Program Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits, universities, and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).
 

CDFA Announces Grant Funding Available for Healthy Soils Program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program provides funding for incentivizing and demonstrating soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. 
 
The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.
 

Conservation Stewardship Program Open for Enrollment Through Feb. 3, 2017

A major farmer and rancher funding opportunity is now available! USDA is currently accepting initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a national program that rewards farmers for protecting and enhancing natural resources on their working lands.

CSP funding includes expanded options for conservation activities and an increased minimum payment to help smaller-scale producers. Contracts may include a range of practices from cover crops and rotational grazing to ecologically-based pest management.

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.

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 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

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