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Federal Activity on Organic Abounds

Since the farm bill has been signed by President Obama, CCOF is looking forward to implementation of the programs that support the organic sector.

Meanwhile, organic efforts are moving forward on many federal fronts. Here are the details:

Federal and State Policy Update

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unique responses by federal, state, and local governments. This legislative update provides a brief snapshot of some key state and federal policy areas CCOF is monitoring. 
 
USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
 
On Thursday, May 14, USDA hosted a webinar to introduce producers to the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar recording can be viewed via Zoom. USDA has said that it will release applications soon.

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.

Flooding Overwhelms Farmers in Midwest

flood
Late winter storms immediately followed by warm spring weather has caused record flooding in much of the Midwest, including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
 
The consequences have been catastrophic for family farmers and ranchers in the region; just in Nebraska, the cost to agriculture is estimated at $1 billion. These expenses are due in large part to crop loss, livestock deaths, and building damage.

Follow Your Conservation Dream! But Do it Quickly Because Signups End April 19

This post was written by Anita Brown, public affairs director, USDA NRCS California

Free Financial Assistance from the CA Agricultural Mediation Program

Farmers and ranchers are independent and resilient, and their relationships with creditors are often long-term and critical for the future of their businesses. When markets, weather, or other conditions create farm losses, the resulting financial challenges can be difficult to untangle. If you face challenges repaying farm bills and debt, the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) can help. CALAMP works with farmers to develop a feasible plan to move forward.

Funds Available for Water, Energy Efficiency

The state of California recently opened a second round of funding to help farms reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Funds for the program, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), were included in emergency drought legislation passed earlier this year.

Get $5,000 to Help You Transition to Organic

Transitioning more land to organic production is key to tackling some of the major issues facing us today. Organic farming helps build climate change resilience, fosters economic security, and improves health inequities.

Hardship Assistance Grants for Organic Producers

If you—or an organic producer you know—have experienced hardship during the 2020 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance through the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund.

Hardship is More Than Financial; Farm Aid Becomes Champion Supporter of the CCOF Foundation

Uncertainty. Worry. Fear. Concern. Holding the fort down. Struggle. Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruption, health concerns, and financial burdens, these anxieties have landed on the hearts of many in the agricultural community. The people running these businesses need more than financial support; they need resources to manage the exponential mental stress they face every day from the uncertainty of how their businesses may fare.

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