Details of USDA’s new $300 million Organic Transition Initiative, funded in part by the American Rescue Plan, were revealed Monday. The program provides opportunities for new and beginning farmers to transition to organic production to boost income potential and expand direct consumer access to organic foods.
…USDA will invest $100 million in each of the following three initiative components:
- A new wraparound technical assistance effort, which includes a mentoring programs and online resource assistance.
- Financial support for conservation and risk management to help defray organic transition costs. This includes conservation planning, reduced costs associated with certification and lower crop insurance premiums.
- Establish and strengthen supply chains between producers and markets, which includes processing food and distribution.
“We’re excited about this opportunity,” Vilsack said. “We’re excited about the chance that it gives young farmers and beginning farmers to take full advantage of a high value proposition. And, we’re really excited about the climate benefits that accrue as a result of organic production” [link added; Matthew Wilde and Susan Payne, “USDA Announces Help for Organic Farmers,” Progressive Farmer, 2022.08.23].
The ag-industrial Noem-Arnold family got where it is today thanks to lots of big government checks. Maybe President Biden’s smaller investment in smaller farmers can expand South Dakota’s organic agriculture wealth and workforce, too.