Apr 8, 2024
1-on-1 assistance key to organic transitions

For producers who are making the transition to organic certification, one-on-one technical assistance is key to their success, according to the USDA.

The department’s Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) technical assistance providers in the Northwest, have been giving transitioning producers support and guidance throughout the certification process. 

usda-TOPP-virtual hours
The USDA offers 1 on 1 virtual meetings for growers through the Transitioning to Organic Partnership Program. Photo courtesy of USDA.

Technical assistance providers have been teaching producers about organic regulations, compliance while transitioning, Organic System Plans and answering specific certification questions. This level of individualized support builds the needed confidence for producers to successfully pursue certification and understand the organic regulations.   

USDA National Organic Program logo sealThough there are many ways technical assistance is being provided, one notable method has been through weekly virtual office hours. During these hours, producers can drop in and speak with an organic certification specialist. Producers have found this service to be a helpful way to ask general questions and address specific issues such as buffer and contamination concerns, inputs and materials, and the certification process and timeline.  

From blueberry farmers to hazelnut growers, from kelp to grain and vegetables, producers in the Northwest are making use of these organic office hours to help them along their organic certification journeys. For information on Northwest organic office hours, visit https://www.organictransition.org/events/

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