Home News Ag Economics Producers to Benefit from USDA Awards Providing Organic Market Development, Promotion Support

Producers to Benefit from USDA Awards Providing Organic Market Development, Promotion Support

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced $9.75 million awarded to 10 grant projects through the Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG). The funded projects will support the development and expansion of new and existing organic markets to increase the consumption of domestic organic agricultural products. Together these projects will provide information and services to more than 20,000 producers and 20,000 buyers to increase market opportunities for organic farmers.

“USDA is excited to announce the first round of funding awarded through the Organic Market Development Grant program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The recipients of this funding will be spearheading unprecedented efforts to expand and open new revenue streams for the nation’s organic industry, building more value-added agricultural opportunities for farmers across rural America.”

Under Secretary Moffitt was in Longmont, Colo., visiting Dry Land Distillery which partners with OMDG grant recipient The Colorado Grain Chain to source locally produced organic grain to craft their products. The Colorado Grain Chain is a non-profit organization that will use OMDG funding to expand on their work enhancing market opportunities for producers, processors, and value-added product makers of organic grain for human consumption.

In May 2023, USDA announced approximately $75 million available through OMDG to increase the availability and demand for domestically produced organic agricultural products and to address the critical need for additional market paths. This first round of OMDG awards for the Market Development and Promotion project type is funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

USDA is awarding this first set of awards in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. USDA will announce additional awards at a later date.

In addition to the Colorado Grain Chain, recipients of the Market Development and Promotion Project grants include:

  • The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is awarded funds to strengthen demand for organic dairy products produced in the Northeast by expanding the farm-to-institution, increasing the number of retailers promoting organic dairy, and implementing targeted consumer marketing to boost demand for Northeast dairy products.
  • The Oregon Organic Coalition will collaborate with partners to increase consumer demand for organic food produced in Oregon and Washington and expand valuable markets for the region’s organic producers by targeting the specialty/craft food and farm-to-school markets.

A full list of awarded projects is available on the OMDG webpage.

AMS gave priority consideration to projects addressing specific pinpointed market needs for organic grains and livestock feed, organic dairy, organic fibers, organic legumes and other rotational crops, and organic ingredients currently unavailable in organic form.

This grant program is part of the USDA Organic Transition Initiative, launched in fall 2022, which offers a suite of programs and resources to help existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic production and processing. Other efforts under OTI include USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation assistance for transitioning producers, including a new organic management practice standard and plans to leverage partnerships to expand relationships within the organic community, and AMS’ Transition to Organic Partnership Program, which builds mentorship relationships between transitioning and existing organic farmers to provide technical assistance and wrap-around support. Additionally, USDA’s Risk Management Agency provided direct support for crop insurance in 2023. More information about these initiatives and more can be found at farmers.gov/organic-transition-initiative.

AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural product market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and congressionally funded grants. These projects will support organic producers and further USDA’s goals to develop more and better markets, grow a diverse and equitable food system, and increase climate-smart agricultural practices.

To learn more about AMS’s investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.

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