Published: April 9, 2024

Category: Organic News

Selected projects to benefit more than 31.8 million consumers and more than 27,000 producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently awarded approximately $40.5 million for 60 grant projects through the Organic Market Development Grant program. These projects will support the development of new and existing organic markets, support the infrastructure to improve processing capacity, explore emerging technologies to promote organic products, and purchase equipment to help meet the increasing demand for organic commodities.

USDA anticipates the projects funded through this program will benefit more than 27,000 producers and over 31.8 million consumers by increasing organic market opportunities. USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small and Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt made the announcement at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

“This round of awards through the Organic Market Development Grant program will address critical needs within the nation’s growing organic industry—funding projects that further our goals of creating and expanding markets for producers,” said Under Secretary Moffitt. “The program is a key component of USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative and will increase value added agricultural opportunities for organic producers in rural America.”

In May 2023, USDA announced a total of $75 million available through the Organic Market Development Grant program to increase the availability and demand for domestically produced organic agricultural products and to address the need for additional market paths. This second round of Organic Market Development Grant awards for the market development and promotion, simplified equipment-only, and processing capacity expansion project types is funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation. In January 2024, USDA announced $9.75 million for the first round of awards through this program. USDA will make the final award announcement for this program in the coming months.

Recipients of this funding include:

  • Almar Orchards LLC in Flushing, Michigan, a family-owned organic apple orchard, received funding to purchase and install a washing and sorting line that will enable the orchard to expand into the baby/kid food market. This will result in increased domestic sourcing and the orchard will serve as an aggregator for other growers in the region. The increased capacity will also allow Almar to expand organic apple production onto 100 additional acres.
  • The Georgia Organic Peanut Association, Inc., in Camilla, Georgia, is using grant funds in a partnership with Oliver Oil Company, a small family-owned processor of cold-pressed culinary oil, to acquire parallel processing equipment that will enable, for the first time in the Southeast, the production of certified organic peanut oil. As a result of this project, one processing facility and one storage facility are expected to achieve organic certification for the first time, fostering a new local supply chain for certified organic commodities.
  • Big Sandy Organics, LLC in Big Sandy, Montana, received a grant to increase processing capacity for organic grains and pulse crops by acquiring advanced equipment to enhance product quality, reduce labor-intensive processes, and reduce production costs. The project will also expand the organic market by promoting collaborative product development and diversification.

A full list of awarded projects is available on the OMDG webpage.

AMS gave priority consideration to projects addressing specific pinpointed market needs for organic grains and livestock feed, organic dairy, organic fibers, organic legumes and other rotational crops, and organic ingredients currently unavailable in organic form.

This grant program is part of the USDA Organic Transition Initiative, launched in fall 2022, which offers a suite of programs and resources to help existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic production and processing.

To learn more about AMS’s investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit

Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2024