The Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) is investing up to $100 million over five years in cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations who will partner with others to provide technical assistance and wrap-around support for transitioning and existing organic farmers. AMS is building partnership networks in six regions across the United States with trusted organizations serving direct farmer training, education, and outreach activities.
The partner organizations will:
- Connect transitioning farmers with mentors for at least one year after certification.
- Build paid mentoring networks to share practical insights and advice.
- Provide community building opportunities to include:
- Train-the-mentor support
- Technical assistance
- Workshops and field days covering topics including organic production practices, certification, conservation planning, business development (including navigating the supply chain), regulations, and marketing
- Help producers overcome technical, cultural, and financial shifts during and following certification.
- Engage educational and training institutions (including crop advisors and extension agents) on organic workforce training and education and future human capital planning.
Over time, technical assistance resources will be made available to all candidate and existing organic farmers through the USDA website.
TOPP is a collaborative effort involving many partners working together towards a common goal. 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. TOPP regions are set geographically and form a mix of states that are well-represented in organic and states that are currently underserved. Additional partners will be added as the initiative unfolds, as it will take more time to identify partners that have been traditionally under-represented in organic.
This map shows many of the organizations establishing the partnership network for transitioning and existing organic farmers. Once fully in place, partnerships will provide mentoring services, technical assistance, community building, and organic workforce development.
- Interactive TOPP map with state-by-state partner listings (pdf) - Use this interactive map to explore the partner organizations located in your state. When you click on an individual state, the map will take you to the page in the document that displays contact information for partners in that state. When you click on a region, you will be taken to the first state, listed alphabetically in that region. In the bottom right corner of the contact information page, there is a link to return to the main map.
Are you interested in becoming involved in the TOPP network? Let us know using this form
Additional News and Resources
- TOPP Fact Sheet (pdf)
- Organic Pinpointed Market Development Listening Session
- News Release: Organic Transition Initiative (issued August 22, 2022)
- Transitioning to Organic
- Farmers.gov – Organic Farmers
- Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP)
- Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP)
- NRCS offers conservation programs
- Whole Farm Revenue Protection
- Micro Farm Program
- Organic Regulations