Organic Assistance Through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA)

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Producers of agricultural commodities have many resources and programs at their disposal, one of them being the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Since the 1930s, FSA has provided invaluable support to America’s agriculture producers. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) supports farms and farming communities with programs including disaster relief, conservation programs, commodity price guarantee programs, and loan programs. Their responsibilities are organized into five mission areas: Farm Programs, Farm Loans, Commodity Operations, Management, and State Operations. Below are the two primary mission areas administered through FSA’s extensive network of county offices.

Farm programs—FSA farm programs include commodity and price support, conservation and disaster assistance programs.

Farm loan programs—FSA provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit. FSA places special emphasis on providing loans to beginning, minority and women farmers and ranchers.

Programs administered by Farm Service Agency are legislated by Congress through the passage of a farm bill. USDA and its agencies await congressional action on a new farm bill or extension of the current farm bill.

Click the below link to locate the nearest FSA office to you!

National Organic Program (NOP) certified producers can work with their FSA office to collect payments through various assistance programs. If you are working with an FSA agent, they may ask you for specific documentation showing your organic certification status. Below are the items that should be submitted to your FSA agent:

  • For new organic certification applicants:
    • A current year Organic System Plan Approval Letter indicating the your ability to comply with the NOP regulations.
    • Letter from your certification agency documenting the amount of certifiable acres for your operation.
  • For a client renewing their organic certification:
    • Current year NOP Certificate or verification from the USDA’s NOP Organic Integrity Database (OID).
      • You can print a copy of the certified operation’s page from the OID website. The USDA website is their official status and better verification than any letter. The USDA page for the operation contains a link in the upper right corner [Export to PDF] for this purpose.

If your FSA agent asks for any additional documentation (e.g. Organic System Plan), you can submit that information directly to your FSA agent. Your certification agent cannot submit this information to the FSA without your written consent.

For additional resources and programs through the Farm Service Agency, see the below links: