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The Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) is investing up to $100 million over five years in cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations who will partner with others to provide technical assistance and wrap-around support for transitioning and existing organic farmers. 

USDA Agricultual Marketing Service is building partnership networks in six regions across the United States with trusted organizations serving direct farmer training, education and outreach activities.  NOFA-NH is one of the Core Partners in TOPP along with the many other organizations in the region.

Let's Go Organic!

TOPP will provide valuable services to farmers in the northeast through:

  • ​Farmer to Farmer mentorship programs 

  • Technical assistance trainings 

  • Resource development 

  • Community building opportunities and networking with peers

  • Help producers overcome technical, cultural, and financial shifts during and following certification

  • Engage educational and training institutions (including crop advisors and extension agents) on organic workforce training and education and future human capital planning. 

TOPP Page Quick Links

The TOPP page is growing with information.  To help with navigation,

please use these quick links to move about the page.

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TOPP is open to farmers (Mentees) who have existing farming operations where they are currently employees, managers, or owners who want to transition to certified organic.

 

Currently certified organic farmers who want to increase acreage or add a new scope of production can also apply for Mentorship.

 

Apply below to be part of this exciting new program and receive help to navigate organic certification, recordkeeping, production and more. You will part of a network of farmers building organic community in New Hampshire.

TOPP is actively seeking experienced and knowledgeable certified organic producers who are passionate about organic production and interested in sharing their expertise with TOPP mentees.

Apply above to be part of this exciting new program and receive help to navigate organic certification, recordkeeping, production and more. You will part of a network of farmers building organic community in New Hampshire.

TOPP Mentorship Links

Links for participants in the Mentorship Program.

with Links

with Links

MONTHLY REPORTING

Mentor's, choose which method of monthly reporting works best for you.

Mentee's choose which method of monthly reporting works best for you.

OR

Additional Links for the TOPP Program

Quick links for ALL TOPP participants

Self-help & Improvement Links for ALL TOPP participants (Suggested)

All program and self-help links are available at organictranistion.org

toppevents

Upcoming TOPP Events 

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Maximizing Growing in Small Spaces

 July 17th, 4pm-6pm | In Person, Kingston, NH        

Partners: UNH Extension/Northeast SARE & Land For Good

Wild Fern Farm is a small, hand scale vegetable farm that grows on 1/3 of an acre and 2,500 square feet of high tunnels. The farm currently offers a CSA, sells at The Portsmouth farmers market and supplies wholesale crops to the food hub, The Three River Farmer's Alliance. The design of the farm is to stay small, efficient and hand scale. In this workshop Liz will share some things she does to maximize this limited space and encourages others in the group to share how they take advantage of the small spaces on their own farms and home gardens.   Read more...

Register here

Farmers Organic Roundtable
July 18, 6:30pm | Online

Join us to talk with FSA about the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) and how organic farms benefit from this program.

All farmers are welcome to attend to discuss organic production, procedures, all things related to organic farm life.

Meet other farmers too!

Hope to see you there!

Registration is free!

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17th Annual Kneading Conference

June 25th-26th|In Person, Skowhegan, ME

This year's 17th annual Kneading Conference (July 25th-26th) will see the introduction of the first-ever Organic Farmer Track –– a series of educational workshops focused on organic grain cultivation and landrace and heritage seed restoration. 

Workshops include:

Pseudograins with Will Bonsall, The Scatterseed Project

Heritage Grain Seed Restoration with Paul Pollaro, Maine Grain Alliance TOPP Project Manager

Sunrise Grain Walk with Richard Roberts, Director of Maine Grain Alliance Seed Restoration

Strategies and Opportunities for Growing Organic Grain with Meg Mitchell (MOFGA), Sara & Marcus Flewelling (Aurora Mills & Farm), and others.

Reintroducing Heritage & Landrace Grain Resources with Tristan Noyes & Paul Pollaro


If you currently grow grains organically or are interested in doing so, we would love to offer you free admission to the entire conference, so long as you plan to attend the above workshops. Visit our registration page and enter the code FarmScholar at checkout to secure your spot today!

Register here ...

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NOFA-NH's 2024 CRAFT Program
Various Dates & Times | In-person

This series of on-farm workshops starts in July and will bring us through October. Join us for these six workshops or pick the ones that work for you. These workshops are farmer led and include partner organizations who will share information related to the workshops.
Explore maximizing your growing area in small spaces, flower production, integrating Christmas trees into your operations, continue exploring agroforestry with Dartmouth Organic Farm. We will conclude the series in the greenhouses with growing greens on the shoulders of the season.

All workshops are open to farmers, home growers, organic supporters, food system professionals and interested community members.

*Ongoing | CALENDAR - UNH Extension Events Calendar

toppresources

Organic Resources

This resource section will grow and expanded over time. Many of these links will lead to more information. This is NOT an exhaustive list. Please send information & link suggestions to Teresa@nofanh.org.

For information and updates about changing from NHDAMF to another Accredited Certifying Agency, GO HERE.

Organic Regulations

National Organic Program Handbook

Guidance and Instruction for USDA Certified Organic operations. 

This links to the entire NOP Handbook and all its sections at the NOP's website. The NOP Handbook is meant to assist operations in complying with the USDA Organic Regulations which are referenced in the handbook. 

It is much easier to read than the regulations written in legalese​.

A recommendation is to start with the TABLE OF CONTENTS to see a fill list of the sections.

Organic Certification Process 

A quick link to the section of the NOP Handbook on the Organic Certification Process #2601

Exempt Farms & Businesses from Organic Certification

A quick link to the section of the NOP Handbook #4009 on Questions and Answers

Organic Foods Production Act 1990, as amended

Title 7 USCODE Chapter 94 Statutory Notes & Related Subsidiaries

USDA Organic Regulations 7 CFR Part 205 

The USDA regulations establishing the NOP Federal Regulations Part 205 of TItle 7 CFR

Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule

2023 rulemaking amendment to the USDA organic regulations.

Strengthening Organic Enforcement NH Information Sheet

A publication from NOFA-NH about what you need to know and how it will affect your organic business.

Organic Facts, including NH Accredited Certifying Agencies for NH

A publication from NOFA-NH about certified organic facts, Who, What When Where and How.

National Organic Standards Board

The NOSB is a Federal Advisory Board of 15 public volunteers from the organic community. They consider and make recommendations to the NOP. They generally meet twice yearly. All meetings are free and open to the public.

National Organic Program Integrity Database

Find USDA certified organic farms, handlers, certifiers from anywhere in the world.

Confirm and download organic certificates.

Organic Information & Learning

USDA Organic Landing Page 

USDA Portal connects organic programs, services and educational materials.

Organic Resource Guide (USDA) 

A guide of an overview of USDA programs and service for organic agriculture. Based on 2015 when it was published.

Organic 101 Blog Series by the USDA (a compilation of blogs)

A pdf compilation of links of a USDA Blog series.

National Organic Program Integrity Learning Center

  • Click on "Access the Learning Center"

  • Create an account. Any farmer can create a NOP Organic Integrity Learning Center Account. There is no fee. 

  • Name, and email is all that is required 

  • During registration, it will as for an “Affiliated Certifier” – select [N/A] NOT APPLICABLE 

  • Then, click register 

  • There are many modules for learning in this database that all are free to use and learn. You need to add them to your “cart” and then checkout. You will find the $$ is $0.00. 

  • You can then access the program from your Dashboard. Have fun learning! 

National list of allowable substances

 Link to Organic Regulation Part 205.600 for synthetic and nonsynthetic substances.

OMRI - Organic Materials Review Institute

OMRI supports organic integrity with information and guidance about materials.

NOFA-NH Organic Facts: Who, What, Where, When & How

A publication from NOFA-NH about certified organic facts, Who, What When Where and How

Transitioning To Organic

Transitional Production Plan (TPP)

A new NOP template for crop producers who are transitioning to organic production. This is for those who do not qualify to apply for an OSP in the current year. Producers can advertise they are "Transitioning" to take advantage of marketing opportunities.  There is no fee for Mentees who are part of the TOPP mentorship program.

Read ORGANIC INSIDER. for more information.

Get Organic Training and Transition Assistance

USDA Organic Training Resources including Transitioning

Transitioning to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP national website) 

A Peer-to-Peer Mentorship program to transition to organic production.

Organizations Supporting Organic

Northeast Organic Farming Association The Northeast Organic Farming Association is a non-profit organization working to promote healthy food, organic farming practices and a cleaner environment. NOFA has chapters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

List of articles available from National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas (ATTRA). 

An organic and regenerative research farm since 1947.

Representing Organic farmers at the national level. OFA provides a strong and unified national voice for domestic certified organic producers.

National Organic Coalition (NOC)

is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a "Washington voice" for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and others who care about organic agriculture. 

National Organic Coalition Newsletter

Keep updated about organic and NOSB.

A downloadable Guide for Organic Crop Producers from USDA

Their goal as a non-profit organization founded in 1990, is to advance organic agriculture through scientific research.

Funding Resources

  • SARE Farmers Grant (Grant program for farmers to explore new concepts in sustainable Ag.) 

Organic Legal Resources

NOFA-NH is excited to establish a TOPP Cohort in New Hampshire. Participating agriculture organizations will collaborate to co-host a series of in-person and virtual events over the next year focused on sustainable and organic production, business development, and networking. Each event will include an introduction to the Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) and how to participate in TOPP mentorship, technical assistance, and more. 

Cohort Partners Include:

Cheshire County Conservation District,

Granite State Graziers,

Kearsarge Food Hub,

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT),

New England Farmers Union,

New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation,

NH Food Alliance and the NH Food Hub Network,

NH Queer Farmers Network,

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association (NODPA),

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH),

Seacoast Eat Local,

UNH Extension, and

Vital Communities.

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