Hardship Assistance

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The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund

The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives direct financial disaster assistance to organic producers. In 2022, we have partnered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to administer drought relief grants specifically for dairy producers in California.

Throughout the nation, farmers are experiencing severe challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather patterns, an increase in duration and number of natural disasters, and financial losses. Now, more than ever, organic producers need access to both immediate and long-term financial support to prepare for and recover from natural disasters and economic loss. This grant cycle we are focusing on supporting California dairy farmers affected by the Drought. 

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund – Grants for Organic Dairy Producers

Receive financial assistance to help cover losses from natural disasters, personal hardship, or other unplanned emergencies.

Grant Amount: $5,000 - $20,000 for dairy drought relief

Eligibility Criteria
Bricmont Hardship Assistance (Dairy) fund applicants must:

  • Be a certified organic dairy operation in good standing
  • Be a certified organic dairy operation based in California
  • Provide a valid organic certificate
  • Demonstrate severe economic loss experienced in the current calendar year 
  • Submit a complete description of hardship endured
  • Submit supporting evidence and financial documentation of economic loss resulting from the hardship 
  • If awarded, agree to submit a final progress report 12 months after award

Eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Increased feed costs
  • Diminished grazing land
  • Herd reduction (describe previous production capacity and current production capacity)
  • Cost of hauling water for livestock
  • Increased electric utility bills of 50% or more due to increased electricity rates
  • Surface water costs if increased from year prior
  • Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost
  • Emergency upgrades to irrigation system (paired with conservation) if not covered through CDFA OEFI programs or USDA programs and for other emergency scenarios.
  • Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to less water available or having to fallow land
  • Drilling of new wells or repairs on existing wells if sole source of water for operation. To be eligible, an applicant must provide written verification from a Groundwater Sustainability Agency managing the basin or area of the basin where the well is located or proposed to be located approving the action, per Executive Order N-7-22

Grant amounts range from $5,000 - $20,000 for dairy drought relief.

Deadline: Applications must be completed online no later than noon (PDT) on December 9, 2022

Incomplete applications or applications received after this date will not be considered.

Applying for financial assistance is easy - simply complete our online application by noon on December 9, 2022. Documentation of your economic loss and current organic certification is required. Awards will be based on need and available funds. Socially disadvantaged dairy farmers (as described in CDFA's Farmer Equity Report*) will be prioritized.

For more information and/or assistance, contact Larissa Hernandez at lhernandez@ccof.org or (831) 346-6324.

**CDFA definition of socially disadvantaged groups: “AB 1348 states that a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. A “socially disadvantaged group” means a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination. These groups include the following: African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Female farmers and ranchers of color.”

Even Changemakers Need Help at Times

Chris and Dana Laughlin grow organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs at Sea to Sky Farms, with farm sites in the redwood forests and along the Pacific coastline. When the CZU Lightning Complex fires swept through the Santa Cruz mountains last year, they lost their fruit orchard, equipment, and farm facilities. Our goal is to make recovery just a little bit easier for farmers like the Laughlins with financial assistance from the Hardship Assistance Fund. 

"At a time when our farm needed it the most, following the CZU Lightning Fire Complex, we were granted relief funds from CCOF's Foundation. Those funds helped us rebuild from the fire, which damaged critical infrastructure at the farm,” explained Chris. 

Community support is at the heart of the CCOF Foundation, and we’re here to support you, too. Apply for hardship assistance support or email Larissa Hernandez at lhernandez@ccof.org.