Release No.: 145-14
Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 660-2268
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that approximately $13 million is available for organic certification cost-share assistance, making certification more accessible for certified producers and handlers.
USDA invites States to submit their applications for Federal assistance for organic certification cost-share funds. Once funds have been distributed to the States, organic producers and handlers will apply directly through their State contact.
"The 2014 Farm Bill has given USDA new tools and resources to support the growing $35 billion organic industry," said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo. "Consumer demand for certified organic products is strong and growing. These investments will help more organic farmers succeed and help grow the economy in rural communities across the country."
The certification assistance is distributed through two programs. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $1.4 million is available to organic operations in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $11.5 million is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories.
These programs provide cost-share assistance through participating States to USDA certified organic producers and handlers for certification-related expenses they incur from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Payments will be up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification. To receive cost-share assistance, organic producers and handlers should contact their State agencies. Procedures for applying are outlined in the cost share policies and procedures at the NOP Cost Share Website www.ams.usda.gov/NOPCostSharing
Eligible States interested in obtaining cost-share funds must submit an application for Federal assistance and sign a grant agreement via www.grants.gov
by June 20, 2014.
If State personnel seek further information, they are encouraged to contact Dana Stahl, Organic Certification Cost Share Program Manager, Dana.Stahl@ams.usda.gov
, (540) 361-1126. Instructions and additional information are available on the National Organic Program’s website at www.ams.usda.gov/NOPCostSharing
. For information on how to use Grants.Gov, please consult www.grants.gov/GetRegistered
. Paper applications will not be accepted.
In 2012 alone, USDA issued close to 10,000 reimbursements totaling over $6.5 million, providing support to the organic industry and rural America.
Today’s funding announcement for organic certification cost-share assistance was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill
The NOP is responsible for ensuring the integrity of USDA organic agricultural products in the United States and throughout the world. Find out more about organic certification by visiting www.ams.usda.gov/nop.
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at http://www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.
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