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State offers grants for moving to organicState offers grants for moving to organic

Awardees will assist farmers and ranchers with services like on-farm organic management consultation.

Farm Press Staff

August 11, 2023

1 Min Read
Organic cauliflower
Organic cauliflower.USDA ARS

California agriculture officials are offering grants to organizations that would help farmers convert acreage to organic production.

The state Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting applications for the pilot program, through which recipients will help farmers and ranchers with such services as on-farm organic management consultation, translation, business planting, and organic certification.

The CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation will accept applications through Sept. 15. Organizations eligible to apply include nonprofits, resource conservation districts, universities in the University of California network, organizations within the University of California Cooperative Extension, California State Universities, community colleges and Native American tribes.

“The process of transitioning land into organic production can be difficult,” said Judith Redmond, member of the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel, and co-owner of Full Belly Ranch, a certified organic 350-acre farm in the Capay Valley.

Support for producers

“It’s a lot of work to learn new procedures, and market-price benefits aren’t available until the transition is complete and organic certification has been achieved,” Redmond said. “Farmers and ranchers need support during this challenging period of change, and that’s why this new Organic Transition Program is so important.”

Minimum awards for block grants are set at $500,000, with a maximum award of up to $2 million per applicant organization. Grant terms may not exceed three years.

Half the money allotted for the program is required to go toward socially disadvantaged farmers, and the CDFA is encouraging applicants to team with organizations that serve this group.

For information and application materials, click here.

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture

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