Financial assistance exists for organic certification

Mar 2, 2012
by WLJ

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has entered in to a cooperative agreement with the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), Division of Plant Industry, to distribute cost-share reimbursements to organic producers and handlers.

In order to qualify for this year’s reimbursement, producers and handlers must have received certification or continuation of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent commencing Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012.

Under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, cost share assistance payments are limited to 75 percent of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs up to a maximum of $750 per year per category of certification. These funds will be distributed until exhausted on a first come first serve basis. The deadline for submitting application is Oct. 31.

Applications for the reimbursements should be submitted after your certification process is complete and all fees have been paid. Proof of certification and certification fees paid must be submitted with your application.

CDA is accredited by USDA 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 Colorado.

gov/ag/dpi or call Barbara Rosenbach at 303/239-4139. — WLJ