Transition to Organic

Investing in people


Supporting Transition

Oregon Tilth helps make transition accessible for all farmers interested in becoming certified organic. Our initiatives reflect that the transition process is a shared effort. We collaborate with expert partners to take on challenges in the organic transition process. Our focus is on technical assistance, relationship-building, and research that eliminates common barriers faced by transitioning producers.

Technical Assistance

Despite the attractive organic market potential, the transition to organic production is full of uncertainty. We work to lessen transition barriers through in-person and online education programs. Oregon Tilth’s annual webinar series, presented in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), provides practical advice from technical experts — soil scientists, plant ecologists, pest management specialists, and more — for transitioning farmers. We offer in-person and remote workshops, intensives, and training on the following topics:

  • Understanding organic certification
  • Transition process and transitional certification
  • Recordkeeping practices
  • Organic rules and regulations
  • Pest and weed management strategies
  • Organic nutrient management
  • Soil health
  • Cover crop strategies
  • Natural resource management
  • Animal welfare practices
  • Pasture management
  • Livestock health and living conditions

Peer networks and trainings

We connect stakeholders across the entire organic supply chain. Our buyer-grower networking events enable all sides to discuss challenges and opportunities.

Additionally, we convene training on best practices where farmers share their own experiences to help decode complicated topics. We support knowledge-sharing between transitioning and already certified producers through our Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship Program.

Learn more about mentorship


Understanding the motivations and challenges associated with transition has been at the heart of our partnership with USDA NRCS and Oregon State University (OSU).

In 2016, we surveyed over 1,800 farmers who participated in the NCRS Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative between 2010 and 2015, with a focus on transition. The report highlights recommendations for organizational, research, and policy support for farmers in transition:

  • Need for mentorship
  • Surveyed farmers desired mentoring from experienced organic farmers and one-on-one technical assistance.
  • Challenges of effective weed and pest management
  • Transitioning farmers demonstrated a need for more long-term trials, on-farm demonstrations, and participatory outreach.
  • Concerns about yield and transition
  • Decreased yield is a common issue for transitioning producers, showing a need for additional research and awareness.

Oregon Tilth is putting the report findings into action. Our work to develop tools for increased farm viability and investment in the launch of an Organic Extension Program at OSU help connect farmers to innovative methods and resources. Additionally, we launched our Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship Program to provide peer-learning opportunities in 2018.

Education / Request

Get technical support and expertise

Interested in having Oregon Tilth provide a training, workshop or webinar? Want a staff member to attend and present at an upcoming event?
Send us an email at <>.

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