The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) wants to remind growers and handlers of organic agricultural products that they can recover part of the cost of their USDA certification. Through USDA, funds have been allocated to reimburse producers and handlers who either obtain or renew their organic certification in the fiscal year that ends September 30, 2017. The reimbursement will cover 75% of certification costs, up to a maximum of $750. But, the deadline to apply is September 30.
The Organic Certification Cost Share Programs (OCCSP) will reimburse eligible organic crop and livestock producers for a portion of their organic certification costs. The OCCSP consists of the two programs authorized by separate pieces of legislation. The National (NOCCSP) Organic Certification Cost Share Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program.
In a release Commissioner John McMillan said, “Organic producers are encouraged to participate and we hope that the program will help them recoup some of the expenses associated with becoming a USDA certified organic operation.”
All farmers, ranchers, and handlers who have received organic certification or a renewal of certification from an accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017, are eligible to participate.
But again, applications will be accepted through September 30, 2017. Application forms and additional details can be obtained by calling Johnny Blackmon with the ADAI at 334-240-7257 or by email at Johnny.Blackmon@agi.alabama.gov. If you are seeking organic certification, you can find information on the process for certification at www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/occsp.