Organic agriculture is an ecologically based system of growing and harvesting crops and raising livestock using cultural, biological and mechanical practices to conserve natural resources and biodiversity, foster ecological balance and adapt to site-specific conditions.
Many Texas producers see organic production as an opportunity to gain a premium for their products while implementing farming practices that support environmental health.
Certified organic producers, producers transitioning to organic, and producers following organic principles can receive conservation technical assistance and can apply for all NRCS programs.
Fun Facts on Organic Production in Texas
- As of February 2022, Texas has 385 certified organic crop operations and 31 certified organic livestock operations.
- The number of organic producers in Texas has more than doubled since 2016.
- The 2019 NASS Organic Survey showed that Texas had $424 million in annual organic sales.
- The same NASS Survey showed 246,000 acres across Texas being certified organic.
- Organic production and sales contribute about 8,320 full- and part-time jobs across Texas.
- Texas' major organic commodities include peanuts, cotton, rice, wheat, milo, corn and dairy.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Organic production is a major focus of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension Service. Bob Whitney, AgriLife Extension’s dedicated state organic program specialist, works across Texas to connect organic operators with scientists, coordinate with organic certifiers to support operator compliance with organic regulations, and provide guidance to those seeking organic certification.
Curated by Bob Whitney, agrilifeorganic.org provides news and resources on organic topics. View a map of organic producers in Texas, read about Carbon Storage Potential in Texas’ High Plains, view crop-specific resources, and more.
There are four organically certified AgriLife centers: Stephenville, Lubbock, Vernon, and Uvalde. A list of Texas A&M AgriLife research and extension faculty working on organic agriculture can also be found.
Organic Resources in Texas:
Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
A member -run organization providing workshops, resources and networking opportunities for Texas producers. TOFGA hosts an annual conference for agricultural producers, professionals and advocates.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Stephenville: Organic Agriculture
This research and extension center provides educational programming, public outreach and scientific research on organic agriculture.
Texas Organics Blog
A blog covering news and updates on organic topics across Texas, curated by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
National Center for Appropriate Technology
ATTRA - NCAT provides technical assistance and training on conservation and sustainable agriculture, with a Southwest regional team serving Texas.
Organic Farming Research Foundation
A nonprofit organization working to empower and foster the adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF serves as a resource for organic research, education and policy.
The Organic Center
A nonprofit organization working to empower consumers and strengthen sustainable farming through the sharing of scientific studies and resources.
Organic Agronomy Training Center
OATS provides science-based training for organic and transitioning agricultural professionals.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
A grants and education program supporting sustainable agriculture, with a Southern office serving Texas.
An extension resource sharing articles, webinars, videos and publications on many organic topics. eOrganic offers an "Ask and Expert" feature for questions about organic farming.
For more information about NRCS resources for organic farmers, see the Organic Agriculture web page.
Organic Initiative - Texas
The National Organic Initiative, funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), is a voluntary conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance for organic farmers and ranchers, or those interested in transitioning to organic.Learn More