USDA Announces Funding Focused on Organic Production

USDA has announced new programs, partnerships, grant awards and an additional $10 million in funding to expand the markets for organic products and help producers transition to organic production. This announcement included $24.8 million awarded to 23 grant projects through the Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG) program, which supports the development of new and existing organic markets to increase the consumption of domestic organic agricultural products. Also, USDA announced that an additional $10 million will be available through the OMDG program. Awards for this funding will be selected from the existing applicants. In addition, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is awarding $5 million to Oregon Tilth and Organic Farming Research Foundation in a five-year effort to strengthen organic expertise for conservation program assistance and expand relationships among producers wanting to transition to organic. USDA will also extend the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, to cover up to 75% of organic certification costs at a maximum of $750 per certification category.