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Organic 101:

Connecting farmers and producers to USDA resources

Consumer demand for organic products continues to grow across the country, representing a multi-billion dollar industry. To meet this demand, USDA offers programs and services to assist the organic community and educate consumers that purchase organic products.

Consumer demand for organic products continues to grow across the country, representing a multi-billion dollar industry. To meet this demand, USDA offers programs and services to assist the organic community and educate consumers that purchase organic products.

Consumer demand for organic products continues to grow across the country, representing a $35 billion dollar industry in 2013. To meet this demand, USDA has initiated a number of new and expanded efforts to connect organic farmers and businesses with the resources they need to ensure the continued growth of the organic sector domestically and abroad.

Some programs have the specific purpose of assisting organic farmers, ranchers, and handlers. Other programs are open to the general public, including organic operations. USDA has a one-stop-shop for information on all of our programs and opportunities for the organic community. From research and education, to market information and technical assistance, we have something for you.

The National Organic Program (NOP), part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, sets the standards for organic production and handling from farm to market. To learn more about what the organic seal means, take our 15-minute Organic 101 online training module. You can also take a look at the NOP’s fact sheets to find information on different organic topics. These plain-language resources will answer your basic questions about organic certification requirements.

Certification cost share: If your business is certified organic, you could get up to a $750 reimbursement for your certification costs. Certified organic producers and handlers can get reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the cost of certification, up to $750 per year. You may apply for cost share each year. Contact your State’s department of agriculture to apply.

For more detailed information, take a look at our Organic Resource Guide. The guide covers specific funding opportunities for organic agriculture and general programs that organic farmers can use, and it provides a website, email and phone number for each one.

Please visit blogs.usda.gov for more information.


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