Feb 28, 2024
Georgia field day centers on organic transitions

The University of Georgia (UGA) recently hosted an Organic Farm Field Day to highlight the USDA’s Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP).

UGA Extension, Florida Organic Growers (FOG), the Southeast regional lead program for TOPP, and Georgia Organics teamed up on the field day, according to a USDA news release.  

TOPP-Georgia field day
Growers, University of Georgia students and others recently attended an Organic Farm Field Day in connection with the USDA’s Transition to Organic Partnership Program. Photo courtesy of USDA.

Representatives from UGA Extension, Johnny’s Selected Seeds and FOG led in-depth conversations about soil health, nitrogen availability, post-harvest processes, using the Organic Material Review Institute lists and tools to reduce tillage. Eleven farmers (certified organic and transitioning to organic), two students (one pursuing a master’s degree and one a doctorate), and two service providers from Georgia Organics participated in the learning experience.

Representatives from FOG expressed excitement about the progress they’re seeing in Georgia influenced by TOPP, a five-year program that kicked off in fall 2022. The organic farm field day and other similar TOPP events offer participants the chance to teach and learn from others as they spend time maximizing their strengths. Participants discussed how their unique operations affect implementation practices and expressed a desire to learn from and visit each other. They walked away energized about hosting educational and community-building events on their farms, according to the USDA.

The USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program is investing up to $100 million over five years in cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations who are partnering with others to provide technical assistance and wrap-around support for transitioning and existing organic farmers. USDA is building partnership networks in six regions across the U.S. with trusted organizations serving direct farmer training, education, and outreach activities.  

For more information on upcoming TOPP events, mentorship opportunities and farmer resources in each region, visit OrganicTransition.org. Visit USDA’s TOPP Success Stories page to read about the exciting work being done in communities throughout the United States. 

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