Transition to Organic

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Midwest Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP)

Introduction to TOPP

The Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) is a national collaborative effort supported by the USDA that involves many partners in every state working together, in community, towards a common goal. The Midwest Region represents Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

The growing group of the Midwest Region’s core partners includes a wide-range of trusted organizations supporting and representing organic communities – each bringing diverse resources, experiences and perspective to the project


Midwest TOPP Mentorship Opportunity

The Midwest TOPP Regional Center and its partner organizations will connect farmers transitioning to organic with local, experienced organic mentors; provide farmer training and education; provide education and technical assistance on agronomy, organic certification, extension, conservation planning, organic regulations, certification cost share, business development, and marketing; build networks and strengthen the organic community; develop and expand access to technical assistance and training; and support workforce training and development. Our coalition of partners serves producers in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

TOPP actively seeks experienced and knowledgeable certified organic producers who are passionate about organic production and interested in sharing their expertise with others. And, we seek producers who are curious about organic methods (or are already practicing organic methods) and are considering transitioning their operation to certified organic production.


Mentors will have the opportunity to guide and support producers who are transitioning to organic, providing valuable insights, practical advice, and industry best practices. As a mentor, you will play a crucial role in supporting new, organic producers and will contribute to expanding organic agriculture throughout our region.

  • At least 3 years of experience with organic production and certification
  • Ability to meet 45 hours/year commitment
  • Strong understanding of the Organic Rule and of the challenges and benefits of organic production and certification
  • Interest in mentoring, teaching, sharing your knowledge and experiences
  • Mentors receive $3,000/year of participation
  • Additional stipend for mentors with more than one mentee
  • Multi-lingual applicants may be eligible for additional compensation
  • Mentor applications are accepted on a rolling basis
  • Mentor Position Description is available upon request

Producers Seeking Mentorship

We also seek producers who are interested in transitioning their operation to organic production. You will be matched with a mentor who will support and guide you through the transition process. Your mentor will share their experience and knowledge; they will provide advice for best practices; they may connect you with other organic industry people; and they may assist with writing your organic system plan. Owners, managers, and operation employees are encouraged to apply as mentees, you just need to be intending to apply for organic certification. 

  • This is a free mentorship opportunity for all crop and livestock producers planning to transition an existing operation to organic production methods, in the process of transitioning an operation, or planning to add new organic acreage (or production scope) to their existing certified organic operation in the eleven state, Midwest TOPP Region (Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin)

  • As a certifier-neutral program, you may seek certification with the certification agency of your choice.


Apply to Participate

Application to become a Mentor

Application to become a Mentee


Have questions or need more information?

If you have any questions about the program, becoming a mentor, transitioning to organic or becoming a TOPP partner, please submit a request for more information through the online form.

Request more information




USDA Organic Certification, Accreditation, and Resources

MOSA — Organic Certifier & Midwest Regional Center for TOPP

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.

MOSA Certified Organic is the second-largest organic certifier in the United States, and the largest certifier of livestock and dairy. As the Midwest Regional Center, MOSA will provide training, guidance and support for a successful relationship between a mentor and a transitioning producer.


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  • Pavla DeFrancisco
    published this page 2023-07-25 17:09:23 -0500