Jan 24, 2024
Organic grant program awards almost $10 million

The USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) awarded $9.75 million awarded to 10 grant projects through the Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG).

The projects will support the development and expansion of new and existing organic markets to increase the consumption of domestic organic agricultural products. Together, these projects will provide information and services to more than 20,000 producers and 20,000 buyers to increase market opportunities for organic farmers.

USDA AMS logo“The recipients of this funding will be spearheading unprecedented efforts to expand and open new revenue streams for the nation’s organic industry, building more value-added agricultural opportunities for farmers across rural America,” Jenny Lester Moffit, USDA under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs, said in a news release.

This first round of OMDG awards for the Market Development and Promotion project type is funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). USDA is awarding this first set of awards in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. USDA will announce additional awards at a later date.

Recipients of the Market Development and Promotion Project grants include:

  • The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is awarded funds to strengthen demand for organic dairy products produced in the Northeast by expanding the farm-to-institution, increasing the number of retailers promoting organic dairy, and implementing targeted consumer marketing to boost demand for Northeast dairy products.
  • The Oregon Organic Coalition will collaborate with partners to increase consumer demand for organic food produced in Oregon and Washington and expand valuable markets for the region’s organic producers by targeting the specialty/craft food and farm-to-school markets.

A full list of awarded projects is available on the OMDG webpage.

AMS gave priority consideration to projects addressing specific pinpointed market needs for organic grains and livestock feed, organic dairy, organic fibers, organic legumes and other rotational crops, and organic ingredients currently unavailable in organic form.

This grant program is part of the USDA Organic Transition Initiative, launched in fall 2022, which offers a suite of programs and resources to help existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic production and processing. Other efforts under OTI include USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation assistance for transitioning producers, including a new organic management practice standard and plans to leverage partnerships to expand relationships within the organic community, and AMS’ Transition to Organic Partnership Program, which builds mentorship relationships between transitioning and existing organic farmers to provide technical assistance and wrap-around support.

Additionally, USDA’s Risk Management Agency provided direct support for crop insurance in 2023. More information about these initiatives and more can be found at farmers.gov/organic-transition-initiative.

Tags: ,

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands