Washington's 2016 EQIP Organic Initiative
The EQIP Organic Initiative
This assistance helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to support the environmental sustainability of their organic operations. Some highlights of the organic provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill and requirements for participation in the program include:
- Financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices and planning to address resource concerns associated with organic operations
- Financial assistance is limited to totals of a maximum of $20,000 per fiscal year AND no more than $80,000 over a rolling six year Farm Bill for ALL contracts approved through this authority
- Producers must meet all the other eligibility requirements associated with EQIP
- Participants who are not certified or exempt from certification agree to develop and work towards implementing an Organic System Plan (OSP) to meet NOP organic certification through USDA
Who Can Apply
Each fiscal year, NRCS will focus financial and technical assistance through the EQIP Organic Initiative for eligible applicants and land. The applicant must demonstrate control of eligible land in agricultural production. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, and other farm or ranch lands. Applicants should use the following categories to identify their current or future production system.
Certified organic producers shall provide NRCS with a copy of their USDA NOP Organic Certificate or proof of good standing from a USDA accredited certifying agent and certification must be maintained for the life of the EQIP contract.
Exempt from Certification of the National Organic Program (NOP)
Exempt producers who are selling less than $5,000 a year in organic agricultural products are exempt from NOP’s certification. Exempt organic producers are eligible for the EQIP Organic Initiative provided that they self-certify that they agree to develop and implement an OSP.
Transitioning to Organic
Participants who are transitioning to organic production shall self-certify that they agree to develop and work toward implementing an Organic System Plan (OSP).
How to Apply
To participate in the program, growers must work with NRCS to identify and plan conservation measures. NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to develop a conservation plan that includes a detailed description of the conservation activities and practices they want to implement on their land. For more detailed information, go to the EQIP Application Process FAQ. Eligible lands for the Organic Initiative are Cropland, Headquarters, Pasture and Rangelands.
Funding Selection and Priorities
Priorities for EQIP funding are based on identified natural resource needs that are consistent with state and national EQIP priorities. Applications that best address natural resources as described in the ranking criteria are prioritized for funding.
- EQIP National, State and Local Ranking Questions - COMING SOON!
Organic Conservation Planning
New Fact Sheet:
Transitioning to Organic (PDF; 2MB)
NRCS Organic and Sustainable Agriculture webinars
USDA NRCS organic and sustainable agriculture webinars are typically scheduled the first Tuesday of even-numbered months and start at 3:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Pacific. There is no charge to participate, and continuing education credits and/or training certificates are available to document participation. Live webinars are recorded to provide access to an on-demand replay. These webinars are presented in partnership with Oregon Tilth.
Other USDA Agency Websites
For additional Organic Initiative information, contact your nearest NRCS field office or:
State Point of Contact
Eastern Washington Contact Central Washington Contact Western Washington Contact
Tracy Hanger 509.323.2974 Kevin Davis 509.754.3023 x 1124 Marty Chaney 360.704.7751
John Kouns 509.659.1761 x 113