Jul 7, 2022
UC ANR to increase technical assistance for organic farmers

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing that $1.85 million will be awarded to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) to increase technical assistance for California’s organic farmers.

CDFA’s State Organic Program is executing a $850,000 in contracts with UC ANR to run through September 2024, and CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation separately is awarding a $1 million grant to run from July 2022 to June 2025.

“California farmers provide 36 percent of all organic production in the United States,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “This funding expands technical assistance to growers transitioning to certified organic agriculture and supports our strong California community of organic farmers and consumers by conducting field trials and demonstration projects with farmers to improve organic practices.”

UC ANR project objectives include:

  • Conduct peer-reviewed research on topics including soil health management, carbon sequestration in organic systems and crop rotation
  • Conduct statewide extension, training and education on sustainable organic production and food systems for organic growers across California
  • Provide technical assistance to growers transitioning to certified organic agriculture
  • Summarize organic acreage and practices in California
  • Develop economic analyses of organic production and markets

“We are excited to see CDFA increasing support for organic agriculture as part of a broader climate-smart agriculture strategy,” said Houston Wilson, director of UC ANR’s Organic Agriculture Institute. “As demand for organic continues to rise, California growers need increasingly targeted technical assistance in all areas of organic production and marketing.”

The 2022-2023 state budget signed last week by Governor Newsom includes $5 million in funds for CDFA to assist farmers with transitioning to organic operations, and the USDA recently announced an investment of up-to $300 million for the same purpose.

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