USDA Details Organic Transition Initiative

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced details of the Department’s $300 million investment in a new Organic Transition Initiative. In order to help reverse declines in the number of farms actively transitioning to organic production, the new initiative will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring; provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance; and support market development projects in targeted markets. Specifically, NRCS will develop a new Organic Management conservation practice standard and offer financial and technical assistance to producers who implement the practice. In addition, USDA will provide $25 million to RMA for the new Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance Program (TOGA) which will support transitioning and certain certified organic producers’ participation in crop insurance, including coverage of a portion of their insurance premium. Also, USDA will invest up to $100 million to help improve organic supply chains in pinpointed markets.