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Financial Assistance Available for Certified Organic and Transitioning to Organic

Are you a producer or handler of agricultural commodities that are certified organic? Or, are you transitioning your operation to certified organic? You may be eligible for financial assistance to cover expenses paid during fiscal year 2022 through USDA's Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP). This program is part of USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

The signup period for USDA's Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) is May 16, 2022 to October 31, 2022. For more information: Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program | Farmers.gov

PA Preferred® Organic Initiative

PA Preferred® Organic is a PA Farm Bill initiative to grow market opportunities for Pennsylvania farmers and keep PA a national leader in organic production. Review the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website to learn about the abundance of resources and services available to all types of farmers throughout the commonwealth.”

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain, and enhance ecological harmony (USDA National Organic Standards Board, 1995). For example, inputs such as manure and compost help build soil rich in organic matter, providing nutrients to crops and requiring less dependence on synthetic fertilizers. 

Pennsylvania consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing a greater quantity and variety of organic foods. By producing more organic products in-state, Pennsylvania farmers can meet the demands of this rapidly expanding market opportunity by diversifying their farm, generating greater income, and strengthening an already robust PA agriculture industry. With 1,048 certified organic farms and 107,550 acres of certified organic land in the commonwealth, PA farmers are well on their way to addressing this growing need.

PA Farms rank 3rd in the nation in organic sales!
Pennsylvania is among the top organic producing states:
  • #1 in Organic Livestock & Poultry, $449 million
  • #1 in Organic Eggs, $104 million
  • #1 in Organic Mushrooms, $77 million
  • #8 in Organic Milk, $65 million
USDA-NASS 2019 Organic Survey

For more information on the PA Preferred® Organic Initiative, please contact Kristen Markley, Organic Initiative Manager, by email at kmarkley@pa.gov or by phone at 717-787-6006.