USDA commits $40M to bolster U.S. production of organic foods

In response to escalating consumer interest in organic foods, the USDA has launched an initiative to boost domestic production and address increasing reliance on imports.

In response to burgeoning consumer demand for organic foods across the United States, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a substantial initiative to ramp up domestic production of sustainable crops. This strategic move reflects a sustained uptick in consumer preference for organic products since the early 2000s.

Recent findings by USDA economists reveal a significant surge in both domestic production and imports of organic foods. However, the value of high-value commodities like blueberries, avocados, and coffee has witnessed a downturn, partly attributed to tariff implications. Despite the tariff hurdles, which contribute to 60% of the value of tracked imports, the USDA recognizes the pressing need to meet the surging consumer demand for organic products.

In a bid to address this imperative, the Agricultural Marketing Service has earmarked substantial funding to support over 50 projects through the Organic Market Development Grant Program.

With an allocation surpassing $40 million, these grant projects span a gamut of initiatives designed to cultivate new and existing organic markets, bolster infrastructure, and harness cutting-edge technologies to cater to the burgeoning demand. Projections suggest that this financial infusion will benefit upwards of 27,000 producers and nearly 32 million consumers nationwide.

Related Stories
Capitol Hill witnessed debates yesterday as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack confronted a barrage of questions from the House Appropriations Subcommittee regarding the USDA’s 2024-2025 budget and policy decisions.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join Host and Market Day Report Anchor Christina Loren as she interviews members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.