10/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/07/2021 13:41
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2021 - U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt today announced funding of $1.73 million for nine projects to improve the oversight capacity of the organic industry by supporting and expanding the pool of qualified inspectors, reviewers, and other professionals who oversee organic production now and in the future. The funded projects provide support across the human capital pipeline, from initial workforce development to creating resources for existing professionals.
"Organic farmers, ranchers, businesses and consumers all rely on a fair and competitive organic market founded on the work of skilled certifiers and inspectors," said Lester Moffitt. "The projects also emphasize diversity and inclusion to address the needs of historically underserved communities and regions. We are building tools to strengthen today's organic inspectors, and to develop the next generation of diverse, well-qualified organic professionals."
The Human Capital Capacity Building Initiative is managed by the Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program (NOP). It was launched to support the long-term growth of the organic industry by expanding the pool of well qualified organic oversight professionals who ensure consistency, fairness, and the integrity of the system. The initiative also supports the Biden-Harris Administration priority to ensure racial equity by removing barriers to access and building inclusive programs.
Participating organizations will develop capacity-building projects to enable the growth of an organic certification workforce to meet the evolving needs of the organic sector. These projects will support creation of training and educational programs, recruitment strategies, mentorship opportunities, inspector apprenticeships, and professional development resources. Resources developed through the initiative will become public resources made available through AMS.
Funded projects include:
The National Organic Program is a program of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). More information on organic certification and free training for professionals engaged in organic oversight is available on the AMS website.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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