USDA $6 Million for Organic Certification Reimbursements

September 24, 2010  |   Posted by :   |   Organic Industry News   |   Comments Off on USDA $6 Million for Organic Certification Reimbursements»

AMS No. 159-10

Soo Kim (202) 720-7476

USDA Makes Available $6 Million for Organic Certification Cost-Share Reimbursements

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the availability of $6.37 million in federal funds for organic certification reimbursements for fiscal year 2010. Available through two cost-share programs, the Agricultural Management Assistance Program and the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, these funds will be apportioned to state agriculture departments for distribution among applicants seeking organic certification of their agricultural production or handling operations.

Federal funds in the amount of $1.495 million are available through the Agricultural Management Assistance Program to eligible 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. USDA is also making available $4.87 million through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to producers and handlers of organic agricultural products throughout the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The designated federal funds will be available to producers and handlers who obtain organic certification from Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011, and can defray up to 75 percent of costs for becoming certified, not to exceed $750 annually.

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. Coupled with the authorization provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Act in 2001 for the management of the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, they enable USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to offer reimbursements, without regard for type or size of the operation, to those who participate in the organic agriculture market.

Under each program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides cost-share rebates to eligible organic producers and/or handlers receiving or renewing organic certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent through funds allocated to their respective state agriculture agencies. The states, in turn, review applications submitted by eligible producers and/or handlers and distribute funds accordingly.

Eligible state agriculture departments should submit applications for cooperative agreements by Sept. 24, 2010, to Betsy Rakola, Grants Management Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA Stop 0268, Room 2640-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0264; tel. (202) 720-3252.

For organic producers and handlers to receive cost-share rebates, they must submit their applications to the representative agency of the state in which their farm/operation is located. Eligible organic producers and handlers must also comply with the USDA National Organic Program regulations for organic production or handling. They should have received certification or continuation of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent within the above timeframe.

Additional information on the cost-share programs is available on the National Organic Program home page at

Article Source

Agricultural Marketing Service

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