The Department of Agriculture is expanding opportunities for organic farmers, a welcome investment, according to the Rodale Institute. USDA announced the expanded opportunities last week.
Through the newly-established Organic Market Development Grant Program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will issue up to $75 million in competitive grants to fund projects designed to expand and improve markets for domestically produced organic products. In addition, the Farm Service agency increased the cost share amount under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helps organic producers cover organic certification costs, to the maximum amount allowed by statute.
Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Tkach says, “Consumer demand for organic products is growing rapidly and the USDA’s support will help American farmers meet the needs of the market.” Recent USDA data shows farms and ranches in the United States sold over $11 billion in certified organic commodities in 2021, a 13 percent increase from 2019.