Organic certification cost-share program available (Keeping the Farm)
(Editor’s note: Nivin A. Elgohary is the state executive director for Farm Service Agency, Virginia.)
I’d like to remind organic farmers and ranchers that sign is under way for the 2018 Organic Certification Cost Share Program.
OCCSP provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program.
Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.
Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.
Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices or they may apply through participating state agencies, which will be listed at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp/index as their agreements to administer the program are finalized.
The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA’s eForms site, by selecting “Browse forms” and entering “OCCSP” in the “title or keywords” field on the search page or contacting their local FSA County Office.
For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic or contact a local FSA office by visiting http://offices.usda.gov.
1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068
P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925