The USDA recently announced that availability of funds for organic certification cost-sharing assistance for organic producers and handlers via state departments of agriculture. For certification-related costs incurred from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, the program can cover up to 75% of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification.
The USDA also recently provided four simple steps for receiving cost-share assistance:
1. If you are not yet certified, contact a certifier and get certified;
2. If you already have your certification, contact your state agency;
3. Submit your information — a short application and tax form, proof of certification, and itemized expenses; and
4. Get reimbursed by your state agency.
Producers and handlers should contact their local agency via the information on the National Organic Programs’ cost share website. The local agency can provide guidelines and requirements for reimbursement of expenses.
For additional information, contact Dana Stahl, USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program Manager, Dana.Stahl@ams.usda.gov, (202) 690-3169 or Rita Meade, USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Coordinator, Rita.Meade@ams.usda.gov, (202) 260-8636. Additional information is also available on the NOP cost-sharing website.