Dear CCOF members and supporters,
Here at CCOF, we have a vision of a world where organic is the norm. We value integrity, courage, community, and representation of and for organic producers. Together, our vision and values compose a compass that directs and focuses our work supporting the organic community. In 2022, the CCOF Foundation returned over and over to these principles to evaluate whether our actions mirror our core values. Learn more about our work over the last year in our 2022 Annual Report.
Examining our values alignment has inspired us to redesign our grant program that supports organic farmers. In February, the CCOF Foundation committed $120,000 to 12 Latino/a farmers transitioning their land to organic. Every year for the three-year transition period, each farmer will receive a $10,000 grant and technical support, as well as connections with farmer mentors, like-minded community, and supply chain contacts.
By adapting this program to meet the specific needs of this population of farmers over a longer time frame, CCOF more meaningfully helps these farmers successfully transition to organic production. In 2023, CCOF launched a new cohort of our three-year organic transition grant program, and we will add a third cohort in 2024. Each of these cohorts targets a new demographic of farmers in a specific geographic location.
In December 2022, we signed a five-year, $15 million cooperative agreement with the National Organic Program to lead the Western/Southwestern region for the Transition to Organic Partnership Program. You’ll hear much more about this throughout the year. This amplification of our work will enable us and dozens of partners to reach more farmers with the resources they need—mentorship, technical assistance, community building, and workforce development.
The challenges associated with transitioning to organic are complex and varied, as are the solutions to those challenges. The CCOF Foundation is committed to listening to the needs of transitioning producers and working together to creatively, collaboratively meet those needs.
We’re also committed to helping organic producers throughout other parts of their journey in organic. This includes financial assistance for organic ag students through the Future Organic Farmers program, ongoing professional development at our Organic Training Institute, and financial support for organic producers in hard times through our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund.
Thank you for all you’ve done to support organic, whether that’s through farming your own land organically, giving advice to a new organic farmer, donating to our Organic Transition Program, or partnering with us to get resources to more farmers. We couldn’t do it without you.