USDA offers funding for organic certification

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic certification Agriculture Organic food National organic program

Small organic producers could benefit from proposed US Department
of Agriculture (USDA) funding to help them meet organic
certification costs.

The Allocation of Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds, administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $1m to organic crop and livestock producers in 15 states. The funding is designed to help participants meet voluntary uniform standards set forth by the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations for the production of organic products. Published in the Federal Register on August 29, the Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance says funding is available to producers in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The states will in turn reimburse eligible producers for up to 75 percent of their certification costs, up to a maximum of $500. In order to be eligible for the program, producers must meet the USDA national organic standards for organic production and have received certification or update of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008. AMS said that eligible states interested in obtaining cost-share funds for their organic producers will have to submit an Application for Federal Assistance, and will have to enter into a cooperative agreement with AMS for the allocation of funds. Applications must be received by September 18 2007. This program is in addition to and separate from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which is also administered by AMS and is open to all states. In another notice in the same Federal Register, AMS announced it would request an extension for a revision to a currently approved information collection enabling certified organic handlers exemption from paying market promotion assessments under 26 Federal marketing order programs. Order regulations are designed to ensure adequate supplies of high quality products for consumers and adequate returns to producers. Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, orders may authorize production and marketing research, including paid advertising. For more information, click here​.

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