From the USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that
starting March 20, organic producers and handlers will be able to
visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency offices to apply for
federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and
maintaining organic or transitional certification.
USDA is making changes
to increase participation in the National Organic Certification Cost
Share Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance
Organic Certification Cost Share Program, and at the same time provide
more opportunities for organic producers to access other USDA programs,
such as disaster protection and loans for farms, facilities and
Producers also can access information on nonfederal
agricultural resources, and get referrals to local experts, including
organic agriculture, through USDA’s Bridges to Opportunity service at
the local Farm Service Agency office.
Historically, many state departments of
agriculture have obtained grants to disburse reimbursements to those
producers and handlers qualifying for cost share assistance. Farm Service Agency will
continue to partner with states to administer the programs.
that want to continue to directly administer the programs, applications
will be due Feb. 17.
Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic or transitional certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent.
Application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency
agreement/ arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors,
user fees, sales assessments and postage are all eligible for a cost
share reimbursement from USDA.
Once certified, producers and
handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of
certification costs each year up to a maximum of $750 per certification
scope — crops, livestock, wild crops and handling.
also adds transitional certification and state organic program fees as
To learn more about organic certification cost share, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic or contact a local FSA office by visiting http://offices.usda.gov.