The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the Organic Certification Cost Share program will offer reimbursements at original levels of 75% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $750 per scope. Scopes are crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling.
In addition, certified organic operations in California are eligible for reimbursement of their state organic program registration fees, also at the rate of 75% of fees up to a maximum of $750.
Having original cost share funding levels restored and cost share reintegrated into a single program will make it easier for operations to access the funds.
CCOF encourages all certified organic members to apply for cost share. Not only does the program help offset the cost of organic certification, the higher the participation rate, the stronger the argument for cost share funding in the Farm Bill. CCOF’s policy team is advocating for increased funding for cost share and a streamlined application process.
CCOF supports our members in applying for cost share by sending them cost share statements of eligible certification and inspection expenses. CCOF will start to send cost share statements to our members near the end of June. We will also send out reminders that funds are available throughout the application period.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) once more will administer the cost share program in all 50 states. Most state departments of agriculture will also process cost share reimbursements.
FSA will begin accepting applications beginning on May 15, 2023. To apply, contact your local FSA service center; click here to locate it. FSA will require documentation of organic certification and that eligible expenses have been paid. The deadline to apply will be Oct. 31, 2023.
The California Department of Agriculture’s cost share website indicates that they will be open for applications beginning in June. Organic producers in other states can apply through FSA, or contact your state department of agriculture to ask for their timeline.
For additional information on organic certification cost share, and to report any challenges in applying for cost share, email email@example.com.