SOUTHERN PIEDMONT CLIMATE-SMART PROJECT
We We are partnering with Southern Piedmont organic and conventional diverse vegetable farmers through an enhanced incentives program.
Farmers will be asked to add cover crops to their vegetable rotation. We will monitor greenhouse gas emissions, soil health benefits, economic impacts, and social barriers to the adoption of using cover crops versus not using cover crops on their fields. This information will provide farmers with the data needed to capitalize on carbon market programs and understand how they can better steward their lands and communities while providing recommendations to the USDA for ways to economically and socially support farmers’ transitions to climate-smart agriculture.
Through partnerships with Southern Piedmont farmers markets, we will expand markets for climate-smart commodities in the Southeast. We have designed a marketing campaign that investigates the best strategies for educating consumers about the value-added benefits of purchasing climate-smart commodities. The information gained from this work will help farmers get the value of their work and provide the USDA with recommendations on ways to support climate-smart markets through consumer education.
The Transition to Organic Partnership Program
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.
How to Transition Your Farm, Ranch or Business to Organic
Resources for anyone interested in becoming USDA certified organic