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NRCS to Assist Producers Transitioning to Organic Production

Apply for the Organic Transition Initiative by June 15, 2023
Publish Date

NRCS is accepting applications to assist producers transitioning to organic production.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications to assist producers transitioning to organic production.

As part of the multi-agency Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise.  

The investment, which includes funds from the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), will help build new and better markets and income streams, strengthen local and regional food systems, and increase affordable food supply for more Americans, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.  

“Producers transitioning to organic can count on NRCS for assistance through the process,” said NRCS State Conservationist Denise Coleman. “By strengthening our technical proficiency and providing technical and financial assistance through new tools and practices, we can better support producers through the challenges of organic transition.”   

Direct Farmer Assistance

NRCS will dedicate funding to assist producers with a new organic management standard under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).    

NRCS will help producers adopt the new organic management standard, which allows flexibility for producers to get the assistance and education they need such as attending workshops or requesting help from experts or mentors. It supports conservation practices required for organic certification and may provide foregone income reimbursement for dips in production during the transition period.

Higher payment rates and other options are available for underserved producers including socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran, and limited resource farmers and ranchers.    

How to Apply  

Eligible producers include farmers, forest landowners, and other producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification.  NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, but producers interested in the Organic Transition Initiative should apply by Pennsylvania’s ranking dates to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Interested producers should submit applications by June 15, 2023 for the first ranking deadline.

Producers can apply through NRCS at their local USDA Service Center.

More Information   

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