Posted date: May 25, 2023
by: Admin My Local Life
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise.
SALINA, KANSAS, May 17, 2023 ‒ The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details around its $75 million nationwide investment in conservation assistance for producers transitioning to organic production. As part of the multi-Agency Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise.
The investment, which includes funds from the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), will help build new and better markets and income streams, strengthen local and regional food systems and increase affordable food supply for more Americans, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.
Direct Assistance in Kansas
"Kansas NRCS is dedicated to assisting producers transitioning to organic production," said Eric Allness, Acting State Conservationist for Kansas NRCS. "This is a great opportunity for Kansas farmers and ranchers to make the transition, as organic demand continues to increase nationwide."
The OTI will provide funding under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and will help producers adopt the new organic management standard, which allows flexibility for producers to get the assistance and education they need. It supports conservation practices required for organic certification, and may provide foregone income reimbursement for dips in production during the transition period.
Higher payment rates and separate ranking pools are available for underserved producers including socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran, and limited resource farmers and ranchers.
How to Apply
Eligible producers include farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and other producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification. In Kansas, the deadline to apply for OTI is Thursday, June 15, 2023. Applications can be submitted by visiting your local USDA Service Center. All applications will then be planned, ranked, and approved based on ranking score and availability of funds.
For more information, visit https://www.farmers.gov/your-business/organic.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit https://www.usda.gov.
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