I noted earlier this month that South Dakota isn’t capitalizing on organic farming as eagerly as other states. Maybe President Biden can help:
Details of the USDA’s new $300 million Biological Transition Initiative, funded in part by the US bailout, were revealed on Monday. The program offers new and beginning farmers the opportunity to switch to organic production to increase their income potential and expand direct consumer access to organic food.
… The USDA will invest $100 million in each of the following three components of the initiative:
- A new all-encompassing technical assistance effort, which includes mentorship programs and online support.
- Financial support for conservation and risk management to help defray the costs of biological transition. This includes conservation planning, reducing costs associated with certification and lowering crop insurance premiums.
- Establish and strengthen supply chains between producers and markets, which includes food processing and distribution.
“We are thrilled with this opportunity,” Vilsack said. “We are delighted at the chance this gives young farmers and first-time farmers to take full advantage of a high value proposition. And we are really excited about the climate benefits that come from organic production” [link added; Matthew Wilde and Susan Payne, “USDA Announces Help for Organic Farmers,” Progressive Farmer, 2022.08.23].
The Noem-Arnold agribusiness family got to where they are today thanks to numerous government checks. Perhaps President Biden’s lesser investment in small farmers can also increase South Dakota’s organic farming wealth and workforce.