USDA funds extension efforts with land-grant universities across the country. Additionally, USDA funds several research efforts that support the continued growth of organic agriculture and that address critical issues within the industry.
Educational Resources for Rural Communities
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture partners with State and local governments to fund extension education opportunities through more than 100 of the Nation's land-grant colleges and universities. This system brings land-grant expertise to addressing public needs at the local level through thousands of county and regional extension offices.
The National Agricultural Library's Alternative Farming Systems Information Center includes organic production resources and the "Organic Roots" digital collection, an archive of historic USDA publications related to organic agriculture. Librarians are available to search and compile literature and information resources on all aspects of organic farming.
The Risk Management Agency has funded numerous risk management tools for organic producers, such as cost estimates for transition, business management tools, and an organic dairy transition handbook.
The Organic Transitions Program (ORG) strives to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices, through research, extension, and higher education.
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) provides a variety of competitive grants for research, education, and outreach activities that support sustainable agricultural systems. The program encourages site-specific experimentation, and many sites have focused on organic production or marketing.