NSAC's Blog

New Outreach and Education Tools Available to Support to Organic Certification

March 8, 2016

Photo credit: USDA

Photo credit: USDA

New resources for transitioning organic producers are now available through the Agriculture Marketing Service’s National Organic Program (NOP). Through the Sound and Sensible initiative, NOP aims to makes organic certification more “accessible, affordable, and attainable” by helping transitioning farmers on a wide array of issues including record keeping and documentation, preventative practices, and much more.

Utilizing peer-developed projects, the Sound and Sensible initiative provides a collection of new educational and outreach materials including: videos, checklists, tip sheets, and how-to manuals to help farmers understand USDA organic standards, certification, and inspection. Several resources are available in both English and Spanish to ensure widespread access to information regarding organic transition.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) congratulates six of our member organizations, which have contributed vital resources to this important initiative. Their work, along with others, will be highlighted in an upcoming webinar on the initiative, to be hosted by USDA on Wednesday, March 16.

With organic production increasing throughout the country, outreach and education through the Sound and Sensible initiative can help transitioning producers find the information and support they need to incorporate organic practices, maintain records, and prepare for inspection. Several projects have chosen to target particular farming communities, such as the Amish, or Hispanic farmers and farmworkers, both through project design and language.

The projects highlighted in the Sound and Sensible initiative stand to  play a seminal role in ensuring that organic certification remains accessible and affordable for all farmers, especially given the existing geographic, cultural, and market barriers facing most transitioning farmers. NSAC member projects and available resources are described below:

For more information, check out the Sound and Sensible resources available online, and participate in the upcoming webinar on March 16.

Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs, Organic, Research, Education & Extension

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