Organic Farmers will benefit from USDA $300 Million Plan to Support Growth of U.S. Organic Agriculture

August 22, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) — Today, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the details of The Organic Transition Initiative, a $300 million investment to support organic and transitioning farmers, and to address targeted organic market challenges. This program will support farmer priorities that Organic Farmers Association has shared with the USDA program and Congress to better support farmers interested in transitioning to organic and building a more robust organic agriculture infrastructure and market for certified organic farmers.

“We are pleased to see the details of this investment in organic and transitioning organic farmers from the USDA and are excited for the program to be implemented, said Kate Mendenhall, Executive Director.  “There are some important fixes and expanded programs to crop insurance in this program, expanded support for organic producers through NRCS, support for technical assistance and mentoring for farmers interested in transitioning to organic, and support for building better infrastructure.  Organic Farmers Association is pleased to see USDA identify the important role organic farmers play in a growing 60-billion-dollar domestic organic market and in curtailing climate change.”

The USDA Organic Transition Initiative will bring together multiple agencies to better serve organic and transitioning farmers including USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Risk Management Agency (RMA). The plan includes:

$100 million for farmer education support.  The new Transition to Organic Partnership Program aims to ensure that farmers transitioning to organic have the support they need to successfully navigate the 3-year transition, including a full supply chain to domestic consumers who continue to build domestic demand for organic food.  AMS will administer this program through regional partnership networks in six regions across the United States with local organizations serving direct farmer training, education, and outreach activities.

$100 million in direct farmer assistance through NRCS and RMA.  $75 million be administered by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a new organic management conservation practice standard and offer financial and technical assistance to producers who implement the practice, with a focus on using existing nutrient management and pest management conservation practice standards in a more targeted way to relate to organic production. This NRCS funding will also be used to increase organic expertise within USDA and to hire organic experts in each NRCS regional technology support center to train NRCS state and field staff to better service organic farmers. The Risk Management Agency (RMA) will use $25 million to create a new Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance (TOGA) Program to provide crop insurance premium subsidies for current and transitioning organic farmers.

$100 million to improve organic supply chains in “pinpointed markets.” This portion of the program will focus on key organic markets where the need for domestic supply is high, or where additional processing and distribution capacity is needed for more robust organic supply chains. Examples of markets seeking support include organic grain and feed; legumes and other edible rotational crops; and livestock and dairy. USDA will seek stakeholder input on these pinpointed initiatives in September of this year and make final decisions about the specific policy initiatives later this year.

Organic Farmers Association will continue to keep farmers informed on how these programs will be implemented to better serve their on-farm needs.  Farmers can start by contacting their local USDA service center to access the expanded NRCS and crop insurance programs.

About the Organic Farmers Association:  The mission of the Organic Farmers Association is to provide a strong and unified national voice for domestic certified organic producers. With the purpose to build and support a farmer-led national organic farmer movement and national policy platform by developing and advocating policies that benefit organic farmers; strengthening and supporting the capacity of organic farmers and farm organizations; and supporting collaboration and leadership among state, regional and national organic farmer organizations.  Learn more at

Media Contact:
Kate Mendenhall, Executive Director
Phone: 202-643-5363
Cell: 585-944-2503