The USDA Organic Insider

Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Our Vision
Organic Integrity from Farm to Table
Consumers Trust the Organic Label
AnnouncementNovember 26, 2013

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) wants to clarify that an online directory of organic operations,, is not affiliated with USDA.

Clarification: Organic Certification Directory

Several organic operations and USDA-accredited organic certifiers have asked if is an official USDA effort. This effort is a commercial Web site that, for a fee, lists certified organic operations.

After its launch several months ago, AMS staff proactively contacted the developer to explain the organic certification process and confirm that the developer was verifying the certification status of organic farms and businesses listed on the site.

More recently, we have asked the developer to change his materials to make it clear that this site is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other Federal entity.

Any organic operation's participation in this effort is voluntary and won't have any effect on its organic certification status. AMS continues to maintain the official list of certified organic operations, which will be updated in early 2014.

Many for-profit services, such as real estate listings and weather smartphone applications, are based on Federal data sources. AMS is confident that similar technological innovations could support the growing organic sector, but must not be represented as a Federal resource.

Official Public List of Certified Organic Operations 

Overview: List of Certified Operations 

Value-Added Producer Grants

Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in USDA grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge.

Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or to develop specialty and niche products.

They may be used for working capital and planning activities. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000.

Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups. Funding priority is given to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers, and to small- to medium-size family farms, or farmer/rancher cooperatives.

USDA is funding these efforts through its Value-Added Producer Grant program. Since 2009, the Obama Administration has provided agricultural producers with almost $80 million in Value Added Producer Grant assistance that has supported more than 600 innovative, value-added projects.

Learn More + Apply
Deadline: February 24, 2014

Strengthening Rural Communities

Last week, Secretary Vilsack announced that 34 non-profit groups and higher education institutions will receive grants to help rural cooperatives and small businesses expand and strengthen their capacity to serve rural citizens and communities.

These competitively-awarded grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services.

Several recipients are developing new market opportunities for rural farmers and ranchers by capitalizing on budding consumer interest in locally produced food.

USDA is funding these efforts through its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. Since fiscal year 2009, this program has awarded 166 grants for approximately $33 million and has helped nearly 3,000 businesses.

List of Grantees

About the Rural Cooperative Development Program

About the Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the USDA Organic Insider

The USDA Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of functions, including regulatory updates, requests for public comments, and USDA programs and services.

You are receiving this email because you elected to receive selected updates from the Agricultural Marketing Service. You may manage your profile to receive additional updates or unsubscribe at any time by using the links below.