MOSA provides our clients with much more than just certification.

Joe Pedretti

MOSA Client Services Director

Sign up today to be a Mentor or Mentee!

Sign up today to be a Mentor or Mentee!

by Allison Walent, TOPP Program Director

The Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) actively seeks experienced and knowledgeable certified organic producers who are passionate about organic production and interested in sharing their expertise with others. And, we seek producers who are curious about organic methods (or are already practicing organic methods) and are considering transitioning their operation to certified organic production.

Mentors will have the opportunity to guide and support producers who are transitioning to organic, providing valuable insights, practical advice, and industry best practices. As a mentor, you will play a crucial role in supporting new, organic producers and will contribute to expanding organic agriculture throughout our region.

Best efforts will be made to pair mentors and mentees who share similar production models (including scale, region, and crops); mentors will be expected to have regular meetings and check-ins with the mentee; and the mentor will be willing to candidly share their expertise in organic production to support the mentee’s growth and success. This is a paid mentorship opportunity; including paid training, mentorship time, and travel time. Producers representing all scopes of organic certification are encouraged to apply! Participation benefits include:

  • $3,000 stipend for a mentorship year (additional stipend for mentors with more than one mentee)

  • Paid professional development on topics such as professional and interpersonal skills, organic regulations, and organic production practices

  • Teaching and facilitation skills

  • Participate in growing the network of organic producers

We also seek producers who are interested in transitioning their operation to organic production. Apply now to be matched with a mentor who will support and guide you through the transition process. Your mentor will share their experience and knowledge; they will provide advice for best practices; they may connect you with other organic industry people; and they may assist with writing your organic system plan. Owners, managers, and operation employees are encouraged to apply as mentees, you just need to be intending to apply for organic certification.

Express your interest in becoming a mentor or mentee on MOSA’s newly launched Transition to Organic Partnership webpage! In addition to expressing interest, learn more about the program, submit a request for more information, and learn about our core partner organizations.

The Midwest TOPP Regional Center and its partner organizations will connect farmers transitioning to organic with local, experienced organic mentors; provide farmer training and education; provide education and technical assistance on agronomy, organic certification, extension, conservation planning, organic regulations, certification cost share, business development, and marketing; build networks and strengthen the organic community; develop and expand access to technical assistance and training; and support workforce training and development. Our coalition of partners serves producers in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.