USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is providing approximately $13 million for organic certification cost-share assistance, making certification more accessible for certified producers and handlers.
USDA invites eligible states to submit their applications for federal assistance for organic certification cost-share funds. Once funds have been distributed to the states, organic producers and handlers will apply directly through their state contact.
The certification assistance is distributed through two programs.
• Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $1.4 million is available to organic operations in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
• Through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $11.5 million is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories.
These programs provide cost-share assistance through participating states to USDA-certified organic producers and handlers for certification-related expenses they incur from Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. Payments will be up to 75% of an individual producer’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification. To receive cost-share assistance, organic producers and handlers should contact their state agencies. Procedures for applying are outlined in the cost share policies and procedures at the NOP Cost Share Website www.ams.usda.gov/NOPCostSharing.
Eligible states interested in obtaining cost-share funds must submit an application for federal assistance and sign a grant agreement via www.grants.gov by June 20, 2014.