Organics: November Organics Update
Posted by Sierra Dice, Organic Agronomy Consultant on November 07, 2022
Hopefully everyone has had a safe harvest to wrap up the 2022 crop. As we move closer to 2023, I want to review some new government programs released before fall that could potentially benefit your current or transitioning organic program.
This past August, the USDA announced they were investing $300 million in a new organic transition initiative. The goal is to help create new and better markets and streams of income for farmers and producers. This program will offer start-to-finish technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring, conservation financial assistance, additional crop insurance assistance and support market development projects in specific regions. This program is divided into three areas: transition to organic partnership, direct farmer assistance and pinpointed market development support.
Under the first section, the USDA is providing up to $100 million to ensure farmers transitioning to organic have the needed support to navigate this transition smoothly. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will build networks across the U.S that will connect farmers with mentors, as well as provide technical assistance, workshops and field days, conservation planning, business development and marketing assistance.
The second area covers direct farmer assistance. The NRCS is developing a new organic management standard and offering financial and technical assistance to producers who implement the practice. USDA is setting aside $75 million for this portion of the program. Under this same section, $25 million will be provided for a new Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance Program that will support transitioning and certified organic producers.
The third area is organic market development support. This AMS driven initiative will focus on key organic markets where the need for domestic supply is high or where additional processing and distribution capacity is needed. The USDA is investing up to $100 million to help improve organic supply chains.
These three areas complement already existing programs for organic producers. Visit the USDA’s website for more information about the newest initiatives and already established programs.
Sierra Dice is an agronomy consultant and organic account representative for The Andersons Retail Farm Centers. A graduate of Purdue University, Sierra studied agribusiness and agronomy. She has worked in ag retail for 10 years and has responsibility for organic product sales with The Andersons in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. If you have questions related to organics, Sierra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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