USDA Announces Signup to Help Rhode Island Farmers Transitioning to Organic
NRCS State Conservationist for Rhode Island, R. Phou Vongkhamdy, announces the fiscal year 2023 signup to help Rhode Island farmers and forest landowners transition to organic production.
NRCS State Conservationist for Rhode Island, R. Phou Vongkhamdy, announces the fiscal year 2023 signup to help Rhode Island farmers and forest landowners transition to organic production. This signup is part of USDA’s multi-agency Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) to provide technical and financial assistance to help farmers adopt a new organic management standard and support conservation practices required for organic certification.
“Producers transitioning to organic can count on NRCS for assistance through the process,” said Vongkhamdy. “By strengthening our technical proficiency and providing technical and financial assistance through new tools and practices, we can better support farmers through the challenges they may have transitioning to organic production.”
How to Apply
Eligible farmers, forest landowners, and other agricultural producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification should apply through NRCS at their local USDA Service Center by June 15, 2023, to be eligible for this year’s funding.
About the Organic Transition Initiative
These NRCS investments are part of the Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), a multi-agency $300 million effort to support organic and transitioning producers. OTI also includes farmer-to-farmer mentoring, direct support for crop insurance, and market development projects.
USDA NRCS, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) are closely collaborating to implement the initiative. As part of OTI’s cross-agency coordination, NRCS organic specialists will be closely connected with the AMS Transition to Organic Partnership Program regional partners, to align and share resources and best practices. NRCS and AMS’s National Organic Program also plan to coordinate data collection activities, to prevent transitioning farmers from having to submit duplicative information as much as possible.
Farmers interested in RMA’s Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance Program should visit with their crop insurance agent for more information. Premium benefits for eligible policies will be automatically applied to the producer’s billing statement later this year. RMA also administers federal crop insurance options, including Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm, which may be good options for organic producers.
OTI complements existing assistance for organic farmers, including FSA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Program that helps farmers obtain or renew their organic certification. The National Organic Program is a federal regulatory program, administered by AMS, that develops and enforces consistent national standards for organically produced agricultural products sold in the United States.
For more information, visit farmers.gov/organic.
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