Organic certification funds available; 15 states eligible

WASHINGTON – The USDA is offering $1 million to share 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.

Up to $500.

Each producer is eligible for reimbursement of up to 70 percent of its cost of certification, not to exceed $500.

The cost-share program will assist eligible organic crop and livestock producers in transitioning into the new National Organic Program and provide an incentive for early adoption of the national standards by certifying agents and producers.

Retroactive.

To be eligible, a production operation must be located within one of the states named above and must have been certified by a certifying agent as of Dec. 21, 2000.

Funds will be distributed to the states on a pro rata basis, depending on the number of certified organic producers within each state. Each state is allowed 4 percent of the total amount granted as an administration fee.

To apply.

Applications by states for federal assistance and cooperative agreements must be requested from and submitted to:

Robert Pooler, National Organic Program, P.O. Box 96456, Room 2510-South, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20090-6456; 202-690-3655; fax: 202-205-7808; e-mail: bob.pooler@usda.gov.

Additional information may be found at the National Organic Program’s home page at www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

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