USDA is working to help organic growers keep up with market demand. Consumer demand for domestic organic products is on the rise, said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Program Jenny Lester Moffitt as she highlighted the Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG) program.

“It’s an opportunity for producers to be able to capture a price premium. It’s a market that’s now at about four percent of the overall food market, which has grown significantly from where it was just a few decades ago at one percent,” she said.

The USDA announced grants to 70 projects with more than $61 million in investments. OMDG offers a choice of project types: 24-month Simplified Equipment-Only with funding between $10,000 and $100,000; and 3-year Market Development and Processing Capacity Expansion with funding ranging between $100,000 and $3,000,000.

Lester Moffitt explained how organizations use the grants in various ways and the multiple benefits they offer. She provided the example of Almar Orchards, an apple grower in Michigan.


“They’re able, through this grant program, to be able to purchase and install a washing and sorting line that’s going to allow them to be able to partner and grow into the organic baby and kids’ food market sector, which is an important market sector for organics,” she explained. “It allows them not only to expand their own organic production, but also to be able to expand production for other apple producers in the state to become organic. It’s about tapping this new market opportunity there in Michigan and, of course, to grow organic production around the nation as well.

According to the USDA, the program focuses on building and expanding capacity for certified organic production, aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, distribution, and development of consumer markets. OMDG aims to increase the availability and demand for domestically produced organic agricultural products and address the critical need for additional market paths.

“It’s about supporting the development and expansion of new and existing organic markets to increase consumption. Just through this program alone, through the seventy projects and the sixty-one-point-five million we’ve invested, we know that more than twenty-seven thousand organic producers are going to benefit from these investments,” Moffitt said. She pointed out that more than 30 million consumers will also benefit, as more options become available at the grocery store.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s program here.

USDA Grants to Improve Organic Market

Sabrina HalvorsonNational Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.

Sponsored Content



are you a developer?

  • Proven International Track Record
  • Vertically Integrated Federal Funds
  • Vertically Integrated Tax Credits
  • Vertically Integrated Investors
  • Vertically Integrated Lenders
  • Vertically Integrated Contractors