Upcoming Webinar to Feature New Transition to Organic Program

SDSPA was awarded a grant to facilitate the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) Transitional Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) to support South Dakota farmers and ranchers in transitioning their operations to certified organic production.

The main objective of the OCIA TOPP program is to assist South Dakota producers in navigating the complex and often costly transition period from conventional to organic farming practices. This program aims to increase the number of certified organic operations, thereby enhancing the availability of organic products and supporting sustainable agricultural practices.

On May 29, 2024, from 2-3 p.m. Central, SDSPA is hosting a webinar for producers to learn more about what the program offers, resources and training opportunities to help South Dakota transitioning farmers understand organic standards and implement organic practices. This includes workshops, webinars, and access to expert advice.

Farmers in South Dakota receive technical assistance from experienced organic farmers and consultants who can provide guidance on best practices for soil health, pest management, and crop rotation, among other topics.

By participating in the OCIA TOPP program in the Plains States, South Dakota farmers become part of a network of transitioning producers, fostering a sense of community and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and resources.

Participants have access to a variety of resource materials, including organic certification manuals, compliance checklists, and record-keeping templates, which help streamline the transition process.

The OCIA TOPP program is typically open to a wide range of South Dakota producers, including:

  • Farmers and ranchers in the process of converting their operations to organic.
  • New and beginning farmers interested in starting organic production.
  • Existing organic farmers expanding their certified organic acreage or diversifying their organic product offerings.
  • New operators interested in certified organic product handling and processing.

Overall, the OCIA TOPP program plays a crucial role in supporting farmers during the challenging transition to organic farming, ultimately contributing to the growth of the organic agriculture sector in South Dakota.

This program is supported through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). TOPP is a program of the USDA Organic Transition Initiative and is administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP).

Registration: Introducing OCIA TOPP