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Press Release

Virginia NRCS Now Accepting Applications for Assistance in Organic Transition

USDA's Organic Transition Initiative Fund Pool Open to Applications
Publish Date
Photo of Tomatoes on the vine by John Markon.

Growers of tomatoes and other crops hoping to transition to organic production can tap into a dedicated USDA/NRCS fund pool of $75 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2023 (Photo: John Markon, Virginia NRCS).

RICHMOND, Va. – Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the details of its Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), a $75 million investment in conservation assistance for producers attempting to transition to organic production.  Producers wishing to apply for this aid can now do so.

Applications for funding in Fiscal Year 2023 are available at USDA field offices in Virginia and throughout the country. OTI funding will be made available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“Producers transitioning to organic can count on NRCS for assistance through the process,” NRCS Chief Terry Cosby said. “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.”

NRCS will dedicate $70 million to assist producers with a new organic management standard.

Higher payment rates and other options are available for historically underserved* producers including socially disadvantaged, beginning, military veteran and limited-resource farmers and ranchers. Eligible producers include farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and other producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification.

Eligible practices will be limited to the following for OTI applicants:

  • Code No. 823 -- Organic Management.
  • Code No. 138 -- Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition
  • Code No. 140 -- Transition to Organic Design
  • Code No. 327 -- Conservation Cover
  • Code No. 328 -- Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Code No. 340 -- Cover Crops
  • Code No. 386 -- Field Borders
  • Code No. 590 -- Nutrient Management

Applications are available at your local USDA Service Center or online at USDA's Get Started with NRCS web page and will be accepted until June 15, 2023. All applicants must have farm records established with USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).


* Historically underserved producers include beginning, socially disadvantaged, veteran and limited-resource farmers or ranchers. (Click on the link to access full definitions.)


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