More Organic Data = More $ Funding = Healthier Economy!

Faith Grant's picture
This week, I discussed the needs / challenges of organic farmers with one of the administrators of the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  A paramount need of organic farmers, both big and small, beginning and established, is access to loans to sustain and expand their operations.  FSA is the primary government agency tasked with making these loans available to farmers.  The challenge is getting an accurate financial picture of an organic farm as the basis to calculate loans.  This requires good price data, and that’s harder to compile for organic farms because their operations are typically more diverse.  

Farm service agents play an important role in piecing the puzzle together.  The more an FSA agent knows about organic farming practices, the better they can facilitate a farmer’s financial needs.  FSA is working to build capacity around organic farming practices so that its agents can collect better data and offer more loans to organic farmers.  The recently launched Organic Literacy Initiative is USDA’s effort to address informational needs.  
Through our advocacy program, OFRF is encouraging USDA to continue to expand upon efforts such as the Organic Literacy Initiative.  Such efforts strengthen federal programs that support organic farmers, ultimately, strengthening our economy.  Check out the Organic Literacy Initiative here and tell us what you think about it.  We’ll let USDA know, and we’ll tell them the farmers sent us!

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