TOPP Organic Mentorship Program

The IOA Organic Mentorship Program is offered in cooperation with the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) to build connections between experienced organic producers and new or beginning organic producers, offer one-on-one guidance and support during the transition process, and create a stronger community of organic producers and stakeholders across Iowa.

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As a paid mentor, you will have the opportunity to guide and support producers who are transitioning to organic, provide them with valuable experience, practical advice, and industry best practices.

Transitioning producers gain support, guidance, and development through mentorship.As a transitioning producer you will receive free mentorship from an experienced organic producer. 


  • Mentors receive $3,000/year stipend for sharing their time, travel and expertise
  • At least 3 years of experience with organic production and certification
  • Ability to meet 45 hours/year commitment
  • Strong understanding of the National Organic Programs Standards and Guidelines
  • Familiar with challenges and benefits of organic production and certification
  • Interest in mentoring, teaching, sharing your knowledge and experiences
  • Multi-lingual applicants may be eligible for additional compensation
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis


  • Crop and/or livestock producers
  • Planning/In the Process of transitioning an existing operation to organic production methods or adding new organic acreage (or production scope) to their existing certified organic operation
  • As a certifier-neutral program, you should seek a certification agency that meets your needs
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis



What Can You Expect? 

  • Meet at mentor/mentees farm at least 1 per year, if desired
  • Set and meet goals for the mentorship year
  • Assistance drafting your Organic Systems Plan or NRCS CPA 138, if needed
  • Connect with a strong network of organic producers across the region
  • Access to a range of organic technical and financial resources
  • Participate in field days, networking events, conferences, and webinars  


If you have any questions about the program, becoming a mentor, transitioning to organic, or becoming a TOPP partner, please contact [email protected].

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