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Anonymous Donor Gives $50,000 to CCOF’s New Organic Transition Initiative

In the current issue of Certified Organic, CCOF announced our new grant opportunity for small-scale Salinas Valley farmers on the path to becoming organic farm owners. More specifically, grantees will be implementing regenerative practices that have been the hallmarks of organic production for decades, including crop rotation, cover cropping, mulching, composting, and other soil-building practices. 

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Farm Debt Relief for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Now Available

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress to help America recover from COVID-19, includes $5 billion in farm debt relief for producers who are members of socially disadvantaged groups that have historically been subject to discrimination and underserved by U.S. government programs. Black/African American , American Indian, Alaskan Native, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander producers who have farm loans through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) or private lenders with FSA guarantees are eligible for relief.

Value Added Producer Grant Program Open Through May 4

Value-added products can make a significant contribution to a farm’s cash flow when a crop grown on the farm is processed into a food product, such as salsa or jam, that can be sold at a higher price. USDA offers funding to support farmers and groups of farmers developing value-added enterprises through the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

USDA has adjusted the VAPG program in response to COVID, including

Federal Government Approves Another Round of Financial Relief

Earlier this month, the federal government approved $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 economic relief, including $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans, vaccination resources, and aid to state and local governments. Provisions in the package for agriculture, known as the American Rescue Plan, amount to a relatively minor $16 billion spread across several programs.

Congressman Panetta Announces $318,000 Grant to the CCOF Foundation for FSMA Education

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced a $318,300 federal grant for the CCOF Foundation in Santa Cruz, California. The CCOF Foundation will use the USDA-awarded grant to lead a multi-state initiative to support organic food processors through food safety compliance training and education.

State Funds for Organic Transition in Healthy Soils Program Postponed

CCOF’s proposal to add an Organic Transition Option to the California Healthy Soils Program was stymied on  October 15 by the panel that advises the secretary of food and agriculture on the program. Instead, the panel approved a recently submitted recommendation from the California Farm Bureau Federation to establish a new program that would provide funding for farm planning.

A Closer Look at Farmer Relief in Senate Pandemic Aid Package

Note: This post was written on March 26, 2020. On March 27, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the bill and it was signed into law by the President.

As farmers and communities all across the country continue to deal with the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Congress has been working around the clock to pass another round of emergency aid, this time targeted at small businesses and those who have lost income as a result of the crisis (including farmers), as well as boosting our medical capacity to respond.