The publication highlights organic opportunities and offers strategies to address the unique challenges that transitioning producers face. It features livestock, crop, and vegetable producers who were in the process of transitioning or were recently certified organic between 2012 and 2015.
The producers’ profiles highlight their motivations to transition, significant challenges encountered, and the outcomes they deemed most satisfying.
Four transition strategies – full, gradual, immediate and split – were identified as most often adopted by farmers who participated in the Tools for Transition Project.
- Full: Transition all livestock and land at once.
- Gradual: Transition land one field at a time with the intention of eventually certifying all livestock and land.
- Immediate: Certify livestock and land with minimal or no transition period. Immediate
certification is often available for land under conservation agreements that has not been actively farmed for three or more years.
- Split: Manage some land conventionally and some land organically as a long-term strategy. Often combined with “gradual” transition strategy but intent is to simultaneously maintain both organic and conventional land.
The publication is a part of the Tools for Transition Project, a research project at the University of Minnesota, which received funding through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to generate valuable resources on organic transition.