Organic Transition

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Grants for Organic Transition

The Organic Transition program gives $10,000 grants to farmers transitioning their land to organic production. 

When farmers transition their land from conventional to organic, they have to wait three years before achieving certification and selling their products as organic. This three-year period is incredibly risky for farmers—they’re learning new farming techniques, creating new systems for their business, and cultivating a new market for their soon-to-be-organic products, all while growing food without earning the price premiums afforded to certified organic goods. Organic Transition grants eliminate the financial barrier for farmers who want to make the leap to organic production. 

The more we grow organic acreage, the more we reap the benefits of organic: combating climate change, bolstering our economy, and relieving health inequities. 

Looking for financial support during your organic transition process? 

These grants and technical assistance are available to small farmers in California who are interested in transitioning to organic production.

Program participants receive grants, mentorship, and technical support in agronomy, business and financial literacy, marketing, and market development over a three-year period. 

Grant Amount: $10,000 per year for three years

Applicant Eligibility
Organic Transition grant applicants must: 

  • Be farming or ranching in California (and must reside in California)
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Already be practicing organic production methods
  • Provide written documentation of landowner’s approval to transition if renting/leasing
  • Have a business plan, marketing plan (for after certification), and/or an Organic Systems Plan for transitioning to certified organic production and/or be in the process of completing these plans 
  • Demonstrate financial need 
  • Submit supporting financial documentation (i.e. Profit and Loss Statements from current and previous years, tax documentation such as Schedule F)
  • Have a minimum of five years of agricultural production experience
  • Have at least two years of running or owning a farming or ranching business and/or equivalent experience
  • Be willing to conduct an interview as part of the application process
  • Submit a Letter of Reference with your application 
  • Submit a yearly report and a final report at the end of the grant period

Producers of all crop and livestock types that are eligible for organic certification are encouraged to apply. Applicants from underserved communities will be prioritized.

No longer accepting applications. Please refer back in 2024 for updates.

Current OTP grantees need not re-apply.

The application is available in both English and Spanish.

Application must be completed online at

For more information, contact Larissa Hernandez at or (831) 824-6123.

Additional Information:

Please note, all grantees will be required to track and retain all records of grant funding expenditures; 

Grantees will also be required to cooperate with the CCOF Foundation to provide information related, but not limited to certification, acreage, crops, land mapping, and organic transition plans.

Allowable Costs:  

  • Organic livestock, poultry, and related expenses, such as animal health management required by organic standards; 
  • Organic feed; 
  • Educational materials, training on organic certification and production, or meeting attendance, in addition to services offered by CCOF; 
  • Inspection and certification fees; 
  • On-farm water or soil testing fees; 
  • Outside consultant fees if desired, as for development of an Organic System Plan (OSP); 
  • Farming supplies to be applied to organic farming on the transitioning acres, such as organic-approved plastic mulch; 
  • Farm equipment and repair to that equipment, where equipment is specific or widely preferred for organic farming of the type expected to occur on the transitioning acres. Qualifying equipment must be drawn from the following list, or authorized by CDFA: 
    • Compost production, storage or spreading installations and equipment; 
    • Weed management tools such as flamers or tines, tarps, row cover; 
    • Transplanting or direct seeding equipment; 
    • Intercropping equipment and modifications; 
    • IPM-aligned equipment; 
    • Other cover-cropping equipment; 
  • On-farm processing and distribution equipment (e.g., peelers, coolers, produce washing, sorting and sizing bins, refrigerated vehicles for transporting whole or minimally processed food) where it is applicable to the products expected from transitioning acres.

Unallowable Costs: 

  • Property or land rent or lease; 
  • Taxes; 
  • Owner or employee labor; 
  • Inputs for land outside the defined transitioning field(s), or for animals not dependent on the transitioning field(s).

For more information, contact Larissa Hernandez at or (831) 824-6123.