Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) News – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) News

The USDA published this news release in Indiana on May 3, 2023.

Indiana NRCS Announces First Sign-up Period for Organic Transition Initiative

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Acting State Conservationist, David Doctorian, announced today that Indiana is accepting applications for the first round of Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) funding through June 15. The initiative will help build new and better markets and income streams, strengthen local and regional food systems, and increase affordable food supply for more Indiana farmers, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.

Under OTI, NRCS will help producers adopt the new organic management standard, which allows flexibility for producers to get the assistance and education they need, such as attending workshops or requesting help from experts or mentors. It supports conservation practices required for organic certification and may provide foregone income reimbursement for dips in production during the transition period. NRCS will dedicate OTI funding under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“NRCS can help organic producers develop a conservation plan that meets their goals and can often help with financial assistance to implement elements of the plan,” said Doctorian. “We have a wide variety of materials and support available for agricultural producers who would like to transition to organic production.”

Eligible producers include farmers and other producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification. Higher payment rates and other options are available for underserved producers, including socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran and limited resource farmers.

While applications are accepted year-round, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by June 15 to be considered for the current funding period. Applications received after June 15 will automatically be considered during the next funding cycle. To apply for funding through OTI contact your local district conservationist by visiting

For more information about Indiana NRCS and other technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit


Curtis Knueven, ASTC Farm Bill Programs

Kris Vance, State Public Affairs Specialist,



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