Spotlight on The Organic Agronomy Training Service

Organization Name: OATS | The Organic Agronomy Training Service

Location: Washington D.C.

Service Area: Northern tier of the United States

Mission: OATS trains agricultural professionals who provide one-on-one guidance to organic and transitional farmers so that every farmer has robust access to unbiased, science-based agronomic support for their operation.

Organization Description: OATS is a collaboratively managed, science-based training program for agricultural professionals working with organic or transitioning producers in the United States. We seek to grow domestic organic production by strengthening the support network of advisors and educators serving certified organic producers. Because organic production requires a systems-based approach to farming, we take a holistic approach to training agricultural professionals. OATS is fiscally sponsored by the Organic Trade Association.

Program Highlights

Current Work

We are building a comprehensive training pipeline that brings new and existing agricultural professionals from curious about organics to serving as trusted advisors to farmers. Our newest offering is The Organic Field Crop Course, an online/in-person hybrid program that provides high quality, science-based information on organic corn, soy, cereal grains, forages and on-farm consulting.

Who We Work With

Crop advisors, consultants, agronomists, and educators who seek to work with organic and transitional field crop producers.

The Problem

There are precious few crop consultants qualified to advise on organic production practices. Organic farming is a complex, context driven production system that requires considerable knowledge and skill to master. Farmers need one-on-one support to navigate transition and maintain successful organic operations and this support system is in its infancy.

The Solution

Training advisors yields compounding effects. Our survey data of past OATS participants shows that for every agricultural professional trained, 43 farmers receive guidance and support! Those farmers then have a greater chance of being profitable and realizing the environmental benefits that organic farming can provide.

Something Special

We promote organic literacy with a holistic approach to training agricultural professionals. Organic production requires a systems-based approach to farming. Therefore, OATS content prepares advisors to address, one-by-one, each of the many topics a farmer must balance, including: crop rotations, nutrient management, weed/pest/disease control, transition strategies, certification, record keeping, organic regulations, marketing, and profitability.


Good data on business models and revenue potential for crop consultants is something that we struggle to find. We would like to be able to provide our trainees with better potential earnings forecasts to assist them with making the leap into organic advising.

Inspiration – What gets you excited about this work?

Crop consultants and agronomists are among the most influential people on farmer decision making, as shown by survey data from Useful to Usable and Influencing the top influencers of farmer decision making is a powerful strategy that can get more acres under organic management, increase domestic supply of organic crops, and improve the environmental impacts of supply chains.

Key Takeaway

OATS offers custom training for organizations, businesses, and groups who would like to improve their knowledge of organic field crop production and advising. Get in touch if you would like to learn more.

Contact Information

Mallory Krieger, National Program Director

[email protected] |

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