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New Program Helps Ease Transition To Organic

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Natural foods are different from organic foods. Only products inspected and certified by the USDA can have a label that says organic. Natural foods can’t contain any additives, such as preservatives or artificial coloring.

Natural foods are different from organic foods. Only products inspected and certified by the USDA can have a label that says organic. Natural foods can’t contain any additives, such as preservatives or artificial coloring.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new program offers discounts on farm business management education to Minnesota farmers switching land or dairy cows to organic production.

It’s also available to organic farmers who have been certified for fewer than three years, and already-certified farmers who are transitioning additional acres to organic.

University of Minnesota applied economist Rob King, the project’s director, says the program was developed to help participating farmers navigate the financial challenges of transition. During the transition period, farmers must use organic production practices but cannot yet market their products as organic. Organic products usually fetch higher prices than conventional products.

Transitioning dairy and/or grain farmers and those certified fewer than three years should contact Meg Moynihan at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6616.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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