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Organic food is produced by farmers who strongly emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. In order for a product to be labeled "organic," a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is produced to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.

The TDA provides opportunities for producers in the form of the certification guidance and assistance, product marketing assistance, and promotion of the Tennessee organic industry. The University of Tennessee is one of several partners of TDA in the organic industry, and provides training workshops for Tennessee farmers, as well as conducting research to benefit producers looking to go organic. Through support provided by TDA, the UT Organic and Sustainable Crop Production department has been nationally recognized as a top six institution in the country for their commitment and growth in organic production and outreach efforts. We are proud that Tennessee has many resources for organic producers and has strived to be one of the top organic agricultural states in our region and country.

Beginning March 20, 2017, certified organic producers and handlers will no longer apply for certification cost share through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Instead, the cost share will be offered through USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides a 75 percent cost share up to a maximum of $750 to help defray costs related to receiving and maintaining organic certification, including inspection costs.  Those interested can apply at 59 FSA field offices across Tennessee.

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For More Information:

Greer Gill
TDA Ag Advancement Division
P.O. Box 40627
Nashville, TN 37204
615-837-5163 -