USDA Accepting States’ Applications for Organic Certification Cost-Share Assistance

September 7, 2011

Alternative Food

AMS No. 189-11
Soo Kim (202) 720-7476
Soo.kim@ams.usda.gov
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2011 – Eligible states have another opportunity to apply for organic certification cost share funds for fiscal year 2011 following today’s announcement of $6.85 million in federal funds by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Funds are available through two programs—the Agricultural Management Assistance Program and the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program—and are being allotted as follows:
• $5.35 million to producers and handlers of organic agricultural products throughout the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
• Additional $1.5 million to organic producers in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Designated federal funds will be available to producers and handlers who obtain first-time organic certification or incur expenses for renewing their organic certification between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012. The programs make it possible for applicants to receive reimbursements for up to 75 percent of eligible costs of USDA organic certification, not to exceed $750 annually.
“The USDA witnessed a 10 percent surge in applicants last year, indicating the vitality of the organic industry,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. “We hope to provide assistance to even more producers and handlers this year.”
The USDA allots funds to state-level departments of agriculture, which then review applications submitted by producers and/or handlers for cost share funds. States interested in participating in the fiscal year 2011 program should submit grant applications to the USDA by Sept. 23, 2011. Applications must be sent to Betsy Rakola, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA Stop 0268, Room 2640-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0264; tel. (202) 720-3252. Further application instructions may be found athttp://www.grants.gov under AMS-NOP-11-12 or AMS-NOP 11-13, as well as athttp://www.cfda.gov under number 10.171.
Additional information on the cost-share programs, including contact information for participating states, is available on the National Organic Program website athttp://www.ams.usda.gov/NOPCostSharing.
In 2008, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 6523), also known as the 2008 Farm Bill, authorized $22 million in federal funds towards the National Organic Cost-Share Program to be distributed for five years following the passage of the bill. Together with the authorization of the Federal Crop Insurance Act in 2001 for the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, these Acts enable USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to offer assistance to those who are certified to participate in the organic agriculture market, without regard for type or size of the operation.
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (Voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
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