Going Organic: Government Chips In With Help For Certification

Fifteen states allocated funds to defray costs of organic producer certification.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday said $1 million in federal funds are available to defray the cost of organic producer certification in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

The Agricultural Management Assistance Program, authorized by the Federal Crop Insurance Act, will allocate funds to the 15 states in proportion to the number of organic producers in each state. The states, in turn, will reimburse each eligible producer for up to 75 percent of its organic certification costs, not to exceed $500. Each state is allowed to retain 4 percent of the total amount granted as an administration fee.

In order to be eligible for reimbursement, an organic production operation must be located within one of the designated states, meet the USDA national organic standards for organic production, and have received certification or update of certification by a USDA-accredited certifying agent during the period from October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2007.

“The feedback we’ve received from organic producers about the cost-share program has been very positive,” said Lloyd Day, Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, “and we’re glad we can announce the program is continuing into its sixth year.”

Additional information may be found at the National Organic Program’s homepage:  www.ams.usda.gov/nop

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