By John Crabtree
Center for Rural Affairs
The steady growth of organic farming and ranching across rural America and the economic impacts of organics on rural communities cannot be ignored. In 2012, the USDA is again investing $50 million in funding for the EQIP Organic Initiative, which provides a 75% share of the estimated cost of implementing organic conservation measures to those who qualify–90% for beginning, limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Farmers and ranchers transitioning to organic as well as established organic producers have another opportunity to apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative funding to assist their organic efforts. Friday, June 1 is the third and final 2012 deadline to file an application through your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.
Fifty million dollars in national funding available this year provides farmers and ranchers a tremendous opportunity to take the leap into organic. Rural cities and towns as well as local food systems will reap rewards as well.
The Center for Rural Affairs' long history of helping family farmers and ranchers access new conservation programs offers opportunities. We've created an Organic Initiative fact sheet available at www.cfra.org/2010-eqip-organic-initiative.
We also operate a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call (402) 687-2100, ask for the helpline and receive assistance in accessing EQIP Organic funding and other related initiatives, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Cooperative Conservation Partnerships Initiative, Value Added Producer Grants and a host of beginning farmer and rancher programs.blog comments powered by Disqus