Grant funding for WY producers to go organic

Sep 27, 2013
by WLJ

Wyoming agriculture producers interested in going organic may now apply for grants to help offset the costs associated with certification.

The Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture administer the USDA Organic Certification Reimbursement program to help producers become organically certified.

The grant covers 75 percent of organic certification costs up to $750. It reimburses applicants for expenditures, which must be made before receiving an award.

Wyoming farms and ranches are eligible to apply for reimbursement if they are a Wyoming company or a Wyomingbased subsidiary company that is farming or ranching organic products in Wyoming; and document that they have achieved organic certification with a USDA-accredited agency.

“Many consumers are very interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown,” said Donn Randall, Crop and Forage program manager in the Business Council’s Agribusiness Division. “Being certified organic can give producers an edge in a niche market and this reimbursement grant may help those producers who have been hesitant to become organically certified due to the cost.”

To qualify for the program a producer must become certified between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013. Invoices must show actual, not estimated, charges and payments incurred in the certification process. Certification must also be obtained before applying for the grant.

To apply, the business must submit to the Wyoming Business Council: a completed application, copies of canceled check (both sides), copies of invoices reflecting actual paid certification charges, and a copy of the Certificate of Organic Certification or a notice from a certifier of continued certification.

Approval of the application is at the discretion of the Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Awards will be based upon a determination that activities are within the scope of the USDA Organic Cost Share program.

The deadline to submit grant applications is Nov. 1, 2013, but applications are being accepted now.

For more information, please contact Randall at 307/777-6578 or — WLJ