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National Organic Program
2013 Cost Share Program Frequently Asked Questions  
Q. I am applying for USDA organic certification for the first time. Can I receive reimbursement for certification-related expenses before I receive my certificate?

A: No. Proof of USDA organic certification is required for reimbursement. A copy of the certificate is required for first-time applicants. A letter from certifiers will suffice for renewal applicants.

Q: What is the deadline to apply for reimbursement?

A: To receive reimbursement, a farmer or rancher based in one of the states listed above must submit their complete application to their State agency no later than September 30, 2013.

Q: What if I missed the deadline for cost share applications?

A: State agencies canít accept late applications.

Q. My certifier is taking an unreasonably long time to make a decision on my application for USDA organic certification. What can I do?

A. Please refer your complaint the USDA National Organic Programís Compliance and Enforcement division.

Q. I donít produce traditional agricultural products. Can I still receive reimbursement for my USDA organic certification-related expenses?

A. So long as you have a current USDA organic certificate from an accredited certifying agent, you may submit your application for reimbursement to your State agency.

Q. I am getting inspected for a private-label certificate other than organic. Is this eligible for cost share funds?

A. No. Only expenses related to USDA organic certification may be reimbursed.

Q. Can an operation receive reimbursements for multiple USDA organic certificates?

A. Yes. An operation may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the costs for each USDA organic certificate, so long as the total dollar amount reimbursed for any individual certificate does not exceed $750 per fiscal year.

Q. I operate in more than one state. To which state should I apply for reimbursement?

A. If your farm or ranchís business headquarters is in one of the 16 States listed above and your taxes are filed there, submit your application to that State. Otherwise, your operation isnít eligible for the 2013 organic certification cost share program.

Q. How many organic operations have used this program?

A. A. In fiscal year 2013, 2,687 certified operations received reimbursements through the AMA organic certification cost share program.

If you have additional questions, please email Rita Meade or call (202) 720-3252.

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  Last Modified Date: 04/14/2014