The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that organic producers and handlers can now apply for funds to assist with the cost of receiving or maintaining organic certification. Applications for the? Organic Certification Cost Share Program?(OCCSP) will be accepted until Nov. 1, 2021.
OCCSP provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent during the 2021 and any subsequent program year.
Producers can be reimbursed for expenses made between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021 including application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
For 2021, OCCSP will reimburse 50% of a certified operation’s allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $500 for each of the following categories: crops, wild crops, livestock, processing / handling and state organic program fees.
Organic farmers and ranchers may apply through a Farm Service Agency county office or a participating state agency. For more information about organic certification cost share, contact your local USDA Service Center.