USDA Announces Cost-Share Program to Assist with Organic Certification

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 10:00am

Release No.: 089-16

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that approximately $11.6 million is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country.

“The organic market is booming, with more and more producers taking advantage of the economic opportunities it presents,” said AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer.  “The cost-share program makes it easier for organic businesses throughout the supply chain to get certified, helping them meet growing consumer demand.”

The funding, which covers as much as 75 percent of an individual applicant’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 annually per certification scope, is provided by two programs.  Through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, $10.7 million is available to organic farms and businesses nationwide.  Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA), an additional $932,000 is available to organic crop and livestock operators in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

To receive cost share assistance, certified organic producers and handlers should contact their appropriate state agencies via the contact information on the National Organic Program (NOP) cost share website:  Each state has its own guidelines and requirements for reimbursement.  Applicants for cost share assistance through the AMA program are encouraged to apply early, as these funds are only available through September 30, 2016.  More information about the program is available at

USDA is committed to ensuring the continued growth of the organic industry by connecting organic farmers and businesses with the resources they need to succeed.  Under this Administration, USDA has signed five major organic trade arrangements and has helped organic stakeholders access programs that support conservation, provide access to loans and grants, fund organic research and education, and mitigate pest emergencies.  The NOP upholds the integrity of the organic label and has helped the sector grow to include over 31,160 businesses around the world.  A full summary of USDA resources and support for the organic sector is available on the USDA Organics Resource page.  For more on how USDA investments are connecting producers with consumers and expanding rural economic opportunities, check out Chapter IV of USDA Results on Medium.

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