Before crops can be certified organic, farmers must carefully manage their land without using prohibited inputs like synthetic pesticides for 36 months. During this transition period and during the first years after certification, farmers often face many technical and market challenges. The Organic Transition Initiative was announced on August 22, 2022 as a $300 million multi-agency USDA effort to support this transition and build and strengthen organic markets. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency each have a major role in the Organic Transition Initiative.
I’m sure everyone realizes that synthetic fertilizer and pesticides are bad for the earth, but they are also largely petroleum based products that contributes to our climate crisis.
$300M Ameros is a drop in the bucket in the greater scheme of things, though it is a lot of money to you and me (and to small family farmers) and is just the thing that they need to encourage and support them as they do the right thing. It’s not enough to bring corporate AgriGiants into the organic fold, but it is bolstering the little guys doing the right thing.
There’s much more at the USDA website.