USDA announced the availability of $1 million in fiscal year 2001 to help defray the cost of organic certification for livestock and crop producers.

Producers in 15 states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming – who completed certification by December 21, 2000, can apply for reimbursement of up to 70 percent of their certification fees. The cap is $500.

The cost-share program was designed to help defray the cost for producers transitioning into the new National Organic Program and to provide incentives for early adoption of the national standards.

To learn more about the program, or to request an application, contact: Robert Pooler, Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA/AMS/TMP/NOP, P.O. Box 96456, Room 2510-South, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D. C. 20090-6456; or by e-mail at: bob.pooler@usda.gov. Additional information can be found at the National Organic Program’s homepage: www.ams.usda.gov/nop

USDA-AMS