Financial assistance available for organic certification
USDA has made $22 million in federal funds available for organic certification cost assistance. A portion of these funds will be available for producers and handlers of organic agricultural products in Colorado.
Through these funds, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will be able to reimburse each eligible producer or handler up to 75 percent of its organic certification costs, not to exceed $750. To be eligible for reimbursement, an organic production or handling operation: must be located within Colorado; comply with the USDA National Organic Program regulations for organic production or handling; and receive certification or continuation of certification.
CDA will provide the producer/handler with a form to send in for reimbursement after the certification process is complete. Certification costs incurred from Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2009, will be eligible for reimbursement, but funds will not be available for distribution until the beginning of November.
CDA is accredited by US- DA as an organic state certifier under the National Organic Program and currently certifies approximately 185 Colorado facilities. Producers and handlers who use other certifying agencies may still qualify for this cost-share program, but must contact CDA for the appropriate forms.
For copies of the cost assistance forms, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and click on “organic cost share reimbursement forms” or call Barbara Rosenbach at 303/ 239-4139. — WLJ