Funding For Organic Producers
NRCS programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative, the Conservation Stewardship Program, and Agricultural Management Assistance Program provide technical and financial assistance for producers to assist in implementing conservation practices, some of which can help meet organic certification requirements.
- Farm Service Agency programs such as the Conservation Loan Program and the Transition Incentives Program give priority to those planning to use organic or sustainable farming practices.
- The Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers Organic Federal Crop Insurance for all crops grown under the organic farming practice, provided they meet standard terms and conditions. RMA publishes separate organic prices for corn, cotton, processing tomatoes, soybeans and avocados, but for all other crops, the prices are the same as those grown using conventional means.
- USDA’s Market News (AMS) reports organic prices and movements at shipping points, wholesale terminals, and retail outlets for organic fruits & vegetables, dairy, grain & feedstuffs, and poultry & eggs.
- The NOP’s Organic Cost Share Program can help reimburse eligible producers and handlers for up to 75% of the cost of organic certification (up to $750) per type.
Funding For Organic Education and Research
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports the following competitive grants:
- The Organic Agricultural Research and Extension Initiative and Organic Transitions Program fund research, extension, and education activities of organizations working on critical organic agriculture issues.
- Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) grants are managed by regional councils to encourage site-specific experimentation that pushes the boundaries of current thinking. Many have focused primarily on organic production or marketing in the past. Unlike other NIFA grants, producers are among those eligible.
- Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program funds organizations who train, educate, and provide technical assistance to beginning farmers.
Funding For Organic Marketing and Infrastructure:
- Value-Added Producer Grants for planning activities or working capital to market value- added agricultural products.
- Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment, and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offers:
- Farmers Market Promotion Grants to organizations to improve and expand farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, agri-tourism activities, and other producer-to-consumer market options.
- Specialty Crop Block Grants to State Departments of Agriculture, who then grant funds to others to enhance the competitiveness of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops in their state.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) helps U.S. producers (including organic), exporters, private companies, and other trade organizations finance promotional activities for U.S. agricultural products through the Market Access Program.