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.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service recently mailed the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers across the country. The survey focuses exclusively on issues, trends, and concerns for organic farmers.
The survey is a follow-up to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. It is also a follow-up to the previous Organic Survey, completed in 2008.
The survey will provide highly important trend data on growth, trends, challenges, and opportunities for organic farmers. By looking at the new data as compared to the 2008 data, organic farmers, and those who have an interest (in any manner) in organic farming, will have more information at their fingertips about where organic farming is heading, the growing market, and emerging challenges and opportunities.
If you’ve already received your survey, you may complete it online.
If you are an organic producer, or transitioning to organic production, please take the time to complete the survey. In this case, more information allows for better production, marketing, and risk management for all organic producers!
Ever tried to navigate the USDA’s various websites for information on organic production, insurance products for organics, or just what kind of markets are available? Well, look no more. The USDA has recently unveiled a new one stop shop for all information it collects and disseminates concerning organic production.
The website truly is a great resource. Maybe you are curious about organic certification and are beginning the process of determining if it is for your operation. Then the Agricultural Marketing Service, via a link on the left-hand side of the website, can begin to answer your questions. Maybe you are wondering whether you can purchase crop insurance for your organic fields? Just click on the ‘Financial Resources’ link and you can find information on crop insurance, as well as loans, conservation assistance, and marketing assistance.
You can even delve into topics such as importing and exporting organic products. You can find a wealth of information on importing and exporting various products, required trade forms, and training and enforcement materials with which to educate yourself. You can even keep up with organic news from the USDA via their Organic 101 blog.
The resources on the USDA’s one stop organic shop are from all the various USDA agencies. If you need help navigating the website or have questions, you are welcome to contact us!
Looks like the weather cooperated for farmers this week. As I drove across the state, it was great to see fields planted (or in the process thereof!).
CRP sign-up begins May 20 through June 14. Contact your local FSA office for information.
Some changes are afoot with crop insurance for organic producers.
Meet the first approved microloan applicant, age 19.
Beef Tenderloin and Asparagus …. you really can’t go wrong here.