USDA Announces Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) Regions and Listening Session on Market Development

USDA Announces Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) Regions and Listening Session on Market Development

USDA Announces Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) Regions and Listening Session on Market Development

USDA today announced it is establishing cooperative agreements in six regions across the United States for the Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Organizations participating in the partnership network will work together to establish and administer a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program providing direct farmer training, education, and outreach activities. Today’s effort is part of the larger Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to transform our food system post-pandemic so it is more secure, resilient, fair, and equitable.

“The organic community is known for strong local collaboration and providing farmer-to-farmer support,” USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said. “TOPP will build on this spirit, while bringing organic to new communities of farmers and consumers.”

The TOPP partnership network covers six regions: the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Plains, Northwest, and West/Southwest. Organizations in these regions are actively forming partnerships to serve transitioning and existing organic farmers. Partnerships will provide mentoring services, technical assistance, community building, and organic workforce development.

USDA is also announcing an upcoming listening session on November 15, which will gather stakeholder input about another OTI program, the Organic Pinpointed Market Development program. This initiative will develop new and expanded organic markets by providing more resources and certainty in the organic market for producers and processors transitioning to organic or initiating new organic production and processing capacity.

Read the AMS Press Release