Steve Bains, OTP grantee, Cohort 2024, and his daughter
The CCOF Foundation is proud to announce our 2024 Organic Transition Program cohort! Thanks to the generosity of our donors, who are passionate about organic, we are supporting 10 farmers with $10,000 per year for transitioning their land to organic production over the next three years.
This three-year period is incredibly risky for farmers—they’re learning new farming techniques, creating new systems for their businesses, and cultivating new markets for their soon-to-be-organic products, all while growing food without earning the price premiums afforded to certified organic goods. This year’s cohort is farming from Yolo County to Fresno County and the Monterey Bay. The majority are focused on farming mixed vegetables, tree fruit, and berries. We also have one farmer focusing on hydroponics in a city setting, growing and delivering to Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties. While this cohort come from varied backgrounds, they all share the same passion—to transition to organic.
The Organic Transition farmers are bringing their collective 80-plus years of farming experience, new ideas, generational knowledge, and enthusiasm to the industry. As Steve Bains, 2024 grantee, states, “I [and my family are] active and hands-on on a daily basis in our different farming ventures. Our hopes are to transition all acreage that we farm and will farm for years to come to organic, and that our children continue to fulfill the dreams of healthy and sustainable living.” Their fellow cohort members echo a similar message. All these farmers are already implementing regenerative organic production practices such as compost application, crop rotation, mulching, pollinator habitats, and more. These farmers will be working closely with our Organic Technical Specialist to ensure that their farms are ready for certification.