Expanding the OATS Training Pipeline for Organic Ag. Professionals with Locally-Focused On-Farm Events

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $89,914.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2024
Grant Recipient: Organic Trade Association
Region: North Central
State: Washington, DC
Project Coordinator:
Mallory Krieger
Organic Trade Association


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) aims to improve the quality of advice farmers receive from agricultural professionals trained in organic field crop production practices. In order to realize the many environmental and profitability opportunities of organic field crop production, farmers need more robust access to high quality one-on-one support from agricultural professionals trained in science-based organic methods. This project will expand the OATS training pathway for agronomists, Certified Crop Consultants, ag. service employees, extension educators, NGO program staff, and NRCS employees to deepen their knowledge of the science of organic field crop production so that they can meet the advisory needs of transitional and certified organic farmers.

This project will achieve three top-level outcomes: 1) reduce barriers to training on organic field crop production for advisors, 2) deepen the content knowledge of agricultural professionals, and 3) strengthen connections between advisors working in the organic field crop industry. We will achieve these outcomes by: 1) expanding the topics of our trainings with more entry-level and advanced content, 2) host eight in-person on-farm training events that feature locally adapted content, 3) foster connections and peer learning between agricultural professionals through monthly Q&A calls with experts, and 4) connect participants to additional comprehensive training opportunities.

Project objectives from proposal:




Presentation Materials

Locally-adapted content on learning outcome areas organized into presentations for use at on-farm trainings

8 topics

Hands-on Learning Activities

Design hands-on learning activities to complement content delivered in presentations at on-farm trainings

4 activities

On-farm Training Participants

Agricultural professionals participating in each of eight local on-farm trainings, includes agronomists, Certified Crop Consultants, Extension educators, NRCS staff, ag. retail consultants, private consultants, NGO educators

30 participants in each of the eight trainings, 240 participants in total

Organic Advisor Call Series

Monthly informal Q&A with content area experts, conducted over zoom and facilitated by the OATS Training Specialist

30 participants on each of the 24 monthly calls, 720 participants in total


Total number of members of the OATS consortium and regional advisory committees

40 consortium members

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.