Adapted from a news release from the Organic Trade Association (OTA)
The USDA recently announced its intention to invest $300 million into a new Organic Transition Initiative program as part of the USDA Food System Transformation Framework. This wider initiative is a historic USDA commitment to changing the agricultural horizon in the United States and strengthening the diversity and resiliency of our food system. As recent disruptions from COVID, climate change, and international conflict have shown, there is a large need to protect our food system from consolidation and supply chain interruptions. Organic food continues to be a robust, consumer-driven industry that provides enormous economic, social, and environmental opportunities for farmers and farm families across the United States. This program will target growth in the organic industry and expand organic acreage by lowering barriers to organic transition, particularly for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.
This initiative will specifically fund organic-specific technical assistance, market development, and updates to USDA farm programs for conservation, crop insurance, and the perennially popular certification cost-share programs. These programs and dollar investments are hard-fought wins for the organic agriculture community and are thanks to tireless advocacy by farmers, OTA, folks within USDA, legislators, and others in the community.