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US: New Organic Champions opportunity at NRCS

NRCS recently sent a bulletin to all state offices informing them of the opportunity to appoint an “Organic Champion”, a position designed to help improve field capacity in assisting organic and transitioning-to-organic producers. NSAC applauds NRCS for taking this step. Field-level knowledge, resources, and tools are a central component of organic conservation support.

In the bulletin, NRCS cites the increased demand for organic products as one impetus for improved on-the-ground conservation support for organic farmers:

“A growing number of farmers and ranchers are becoming certified organic producers or considering changing part of the operation to an organic system due to growing demands for organic products. Organic production is the fastest-growing segment of agriculture, growing by double digits every year. Demand for organic production vastly outstrips capacity. This growing sector of agriculture that NRCS has not traditionally targeted has unique needs in utilizing NRCS programs and technical assistance and presents an opportunity for NRCS to broaden our reach and customer base.”

Each participating state’s Organic Champion will receive training on the scope of USDA organic resources. One important resource in this training process will be the organic handbook that NSAC and their members helped develop. The handbook is designed to support NRCS staff and other agricultural professions as they work with organic producers, and identifies key resources to guide conservation planning and implementation; it also illustrates the clear overlap between NOP standards and NRCS conservation opportunities.

Read more at NSAC

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