U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Offers New Funding & Contracts

May 14, 2009

The Organic Trade Association has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering $50 million in new funding to encourage greater production of organic food in the United States.

The Organic Trade Association has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering $50 million in new funding to encourage greater production of organic food in the United States.

A portion of the funding has been allocated for every state and is available exclusively through a special signup under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

To qualify, a producer must be certified through the National Organic Program or be in the process of transitioning to organic production.

"The Organic Trade Association is pleased to see this support and recognition from USDA that organic farming practices represent positive environmental practices. OTA believes that this funding will further encourage farmers to use such practices and help increase the U.S. production of organic food to meet growing consumer demand," said Christine Bushway, OTA's executive director.

Under the initiative, new contracts for organic production are being offered for six core practices, which include conservation crop rotation, cover crops, nutrient management, pest management, prescribed grazing, and forage harvest management. Funding is capped at $20,000 per year.

The sign-up period for the special organic contracts begins May 11 and ends on May 29.