The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for applications. This program helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75% of their certification costs per NOP scope of organic certification, with a maximum of $750 per scope. The NOP currently recognizes four scopes of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling. This means that clients with more than one certification scope may be eligible for more than one refund.
Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 may apply for reimbursement. The application deadline is October 31, 2016.
Why is Cost Share Important?
Historically, farm bill funding has not been as generous to organic producers as it has for conventional. Cost share is one of the few programs offered specifically to support organic producers. The new farm bill passed in February 2014 reinstated the program in all 50 states, for a total of almost $13 million per year. Utilizing all available funds each year will demonstrate a need for this program and encourage Congress to continue funding it.
CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers, livestock operations, and handlers to take advantage of these funds. If the organic industry can utilize all funds offered through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, it will succeed in demonstrating a need for this funding. If the total allocation of funds is not used by the end of the program, Cost Share appropriations will likely be reduced during the next round of farm bill negotiations. Whether your operation needs the funds or not, applying helps ensure future funding and program availability for small businesses trying to succeed in the organic marketplace.
Apply for Cost-Share Funds in California:
There are only four pages of documentation you are required to submit for the state of California to receive Cost Share funds:
Please follow the steps below carefully to gather all of the necessary documentation! It is important to submit complete, correct information and documentation to ensure that your application is considered, and to improve your chance of receiving funds. Below are all the forms you need to complete your application.
Note: Applications are approved on a “first received and complete, first approved” basis. Incomplete applications will be returned and your place in line will be lost. DO NOT SEND APPLICATIONS TO CCOF.
Mail applications to:
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Cost Share Reimbursement
ATTN: Sharon Parsons
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
For assistance, contact Sharon Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 900-5202.
Apply for Cost-Share Funds in Other States:
Find your state’s Cost-Share contact to ask about application procedures and deadlines in your state.