CT NOFA Joins with Regional Partners in TOPP (Transition to Organic Partnership Program)
CT NOFA is proud to announce its participation in TOPP, the Transition to Organic Partnership Program. This program, funded by and operated in conjunction with the USDA, covers the entire nation (see map, below). CT NOFA joins regional partners here in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region to help develop a unified, programmatic system to help farmers transition to organic growing methods. The program will be developed over the course of the next several years, but CT NOFA expects to commence the Mentorship portion of it during the 4th quarter of 2023. This will involve connecting paid mentors (experienced organic farmers) to mentees (farmers seeking to transition to organic) for one year to assist with the transition process. Additionally, CT NOFA staff will assist with helping mentee farmers navigate the organic certification process.
In pursuance of this year’s goals, CT NOFA is currently recruiting the following individuals and groups to participate in this program at various levels:
- Mentor farmers who have operated certified organic farms for at least three years that are interested in assisting mentee farmers as they transition their farms for certification.
- Farmers looking to transition to organic: if you are operating a farm and would like the assistance of an experienced organic farmer during your transition to organic, we welcome you to join our group of mentee farmers.
- Partner organizations which wish to help grow the program
- Technical experts who are interested in helping provide guidance on specific topics, skills, or areas of interest to farmers who are transitioning to organic methods
CT NOFA welcomes partner non-profit organizations, public organizations, or individuals who wish to work to provide community building opportunities, technical assistance, train-the-mentor support, and workshop and field day activities covering topics including organic production practices, certification, conservation planning, business development, regulations, and marketing. All interested parties (including potential mentors and mentees) may sign up for involvement with the program through this form, or learn more about TOPP here.
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