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News Release

NRCS Announces Initiative to Promote Conservation on Organic Farming Operations

December 19, 2011

For More Information:
Tanya Koch, Visual Information Specialist, 701-530-2096

BISMARCK, ND December 19, 2011 � North Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering assistance to producers for the implementation of conservation practices on organic agricultural operations. The Organic Initiative is a nation-wide initiative designed to provide financial assistance to eligible producers to implement conservation practices designed to improve their land�s natural resource condition.

�This new initiative offers a great way for NRCS to help organic farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices on their lands,� said State Conservationist Mary Podoll. �As organic production continues to grow in North Dakota, NRCS is looking to partner with eligible producers to help provide them with the tools they need to be successful organic farmers and ranchers.�

The 2008 Farm Bill designated organic farming as a priority for future agricultural development. NRCS developed the Organic Initiative to encourage more producers to put organic production into practice and help existing organic farmers further enhance environmental stewardship on their lands.

Eligible participants include certified organic producers, producers who are transitioning to become certified organic, and producers who fall under the exemption category. The National Organic Program (NOP) regulation recognizes exempt producers as those who will sell organic agricultural products and whose gross agricultural income from organic sales totals $5,000 or less.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation measures for organic production. Qualified applicants could receive up to $20,000 per year. An $80,000 limit exists over a six-year period.

�Organic farming is and will continue to be a vital component of our state�s agricultural industry,� said Podoll. �Through the Organic Initiative, NRCS can help organic producers maintain their organic operations in a manner that is both environmentally sound and economically beneficial.�

Producers interested in learning more about the Organic Initiative are encouraged to visit their local NRCS service center or Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

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