Yesterday, USDA announced important changes to the National Organic Cost-Share Certification Program and Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program, that will become effective March 20, 2017.
First, producers and handlers will for the first time be able to apply for cost-share funds for their transitional certification and state organic program fees. This is great news for those who want to transition to organic – allowing for certification cost-share reimbursement during the three-year transition period, which can be very costly. It’s also great news for consumers whose demand for organic products continues to grow – as it will remove a barrier to farmers transitioning to meet that demand.
Second, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices around the country to apply for federal cost-share reimbursement to help them with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.
These cost-share programs offer opportunities for certified producers and handlers to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year up to a maximum of $750 per scope – crops, livestock, wild crops, handling, transitional certification, and state organic program fees.