AMS No. 159-04
Joan Shaffer (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, DC Aug. 4, 2004 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that $1 million in federal funds is available to defray the cost of organic certification in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The Agricultural Management Assistance Program, authorized by the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1524), will allocate funds to the 15 states in proportion to the number of organic producers in each state. The states, in turn, will reimburse each eligible producer for up to 75 percent of its organic certification costs, not to exceed $500. Each state is allowed to retain 4 percent of the total amount granted as an administration fee.
In order to be eligible for reimbursement, an organic production operation must be located within one of the designated states, meet the USDA National Organic Standards for organic production, and have received certification or update of certification by a USDA-accredited certifying agent during the period of October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005.
Applications by states for federal assistance and cooperative agreements must be requested from and submitted to: Robert Pooler, Agriculture Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA Stop 0268, Room 4008-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington DC 20250-0264; tel. (202) 720-3252; fax (202) 205-7808; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information may be found at the National Organic Program's homepage: www.ams.usda.gov/nop