Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Organic Certification Cost-Share Now Available

The Missouri Department of Agriculture signed a cooperative agreement with USDA-National Organic Program (NOP) on June 13, 2014 to implement the certification cost-share program. Under the cooperative agreement, the state Department of Agriculture has agreed to review applications from certified Missouri organic producers (crop, wild crop or livestock), processor and handlers of agricultural products who obtained certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). MDA then disperses the available funds to qualified applicants. Applications for cost share funds are reimbursed in the order they are received, until funds are exhausted or the eligibility period ends, whichever comes first.

All of the organic cost share information is now online. MDA has about twice the funds available than in the past.   The window for 2013-14 funds is short.

Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers should be helpful in your application process.
1.      To qualify, does my farm or company have to be located in Missouri? Yes.
2.      What kind of costs will the program reimburse? Application, inspection and certification costs - but not late fees.
3.      How does MDA determine my eligibility? You must have a copy of your current organic certificate.
4.      How much am I eligible for? Payments to eligible producers, processors and handlers will be limited to 75% of each certification, class of certification and renewal cost up to a maximum of $750.
5.      How do I apply? You must submit four items:
6.      Does certification from any certifying agency count? You must have received organic certification from a USDA-NOP accredited certifying agency. If you have questions about the accreditation status of your certifier, call your certifier or check the NOP website for more information.
7.      What if I am certified as a producer and a handler? If you have different kinds of certification (producer - crop, wild crop and livestock, processor or handler), you qualify for more than one cost-share payment. You must submit separate and complete applications for individual certifications. However, some agencies will list them as classifications on the same certification. These do not have to be broken out as individual applications.
8.      When is the application due? Since funds are limited, we will process applications in the order they are received and payments will be issued on a first come, first served basis. The program will continue until all funds are exhausted or the eligibility period ends.
9.      What about privacy? Under state law, if requested, we must provide demographic information including your name and address. We do not release social security numbers or payment amounts.
10.  Where do I send the application? Mail to: MDA Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, PO Box 630, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102-0630 or fax to (573) 751-2868.
11.  Will this program continue in the future? Missouri expects to exhaust the federal and state cost-share funds each year. Whether the program continues or not will depend on the actions of the U.S. Congress and the state legislators.
12.  What if I have questions? Contact a Missouri organics marketing specialist at (573) 522-4170 or

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