Cover photo for California Organic Transition Pilot Program

California Organic Transition Pilot Program (OTP)

California Department of Food and Ag

Closed September 15, 2023

The Organic Transition Pilot Program was created by the Budget Act of 2022 and is supported with $10 million in allocations from the Budget Acts of 2022 and 2023. The purpose is to provide support to farmers and ranchers who prepare land for organic certification. The program is designed as a block grant to be administered through organizations that demonstrate the expertise and partnerships needed to accomplish the program’s objectives. These objectives include the disbursal of financial assistance, technical assistance, project follow-up, application assistance, business planning, and translation services. The Pilot has a strong emphasis on equity, where at least 50% of beneficiaries should be Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers. As such, it seeks to support diverse farmers and ranchers in their transition to organic production.

The Organic Transition Pilot Program is aligned with the suite of Climate Smart Agriculture incentive programs administered by CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation. It also aligns with a Recommendation in California’s Climate Change Scoping Plan Update of 2022, the state’s roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to expand organic acreage in California.

Financial assistance disbursed to farmers and ranchers can be spent on a wide range of eligible costs for transitioning acres to organic farming, and a field-preparation award can help to build soils for successful organic production.


Eligible Block Grant Recipient Organizations:

  • Non-profit organizations

  • California Native American Tribes

  • Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs)

  • University of California, California Community Colleges or California State Universities

“…must have demonstrated expertise in disbursement of funds and outreach for agricultural practices. If they do not have sufficient in-house capabilities to meet certain… Objectives, lead applicants are encouraged to partner with organizations who have experience in:

  • one-on-one organic management technical assistance

  • language translation

  • business planning

  • access to organic networks

  • outreach to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

Eligible Farmers and Ranchers:


  • Over 18 years of age

  • Commercial farmers or with plan for marketing produce

  • Lease, own, or otherwise have stable tenure or access to the field(s)

SDFRs: African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders


  • “Multiple individual farmers may not receive funding to transition the same physical fields.”

  • “Block Grant Recipients should strive to obtain participation from a broad group of farmers and ranchers that are geographically and socially distributed…”


Total potential award of $60,000 per farmer or rancher.

Block Grant award from $500,000-$2,000,000.

Application Instructions

Online applications for 2023 are closed. Find updates here.


Release Date

June 24, 2023


September 15, 2023

Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Total Program Funding


Updated March 27, 2024

Image Credit: CDFA

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

Explore hundreds more programs on Ambrook.