Breaking New Ground : Farmer Perspectives on Organic Transition

Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Despite increasing consumer demand for organic food and farm products and double-digit annual sales growth, U.S. organic production is currently flat and unable to meet demand. This report presents findings from a national survey of farmers about their experiences with organic transition, exploring motivations, obstacles, and desired resources and support related to the transition process. We found significant variation among farms who had successfully transitioned, who were still in process, who have split operations, and who ultimately decided not to pursue organic farming. Farmers in our study echo long-standing concerns about costs, recordkeeping, on-farm production challenges, infrastructure, and access to profitable markets. We offer a set of specific recommendations, observing that there is plenty of work to do by a wide variety of organizations and agencies that specialize in crop research, infrastructure development, market development, and policy development related to the organic sector. The report is a collaboration between Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems and Oregon Tilth, Inc.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
  • Stephenson, G., L. Gwin, C. Schreiner, S. Brown. 2017. Breaking New Ground: Farmer Perspectives on Organic Transition. Corvallis, OR: Oregon Tilth and OSU Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • This report was generously funded by the UNFI Foundation, Farm Aid, Oregon Tilth, and OSU Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems.



This work has no parents.

In Collection: