Organic Cost Share Program
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) reduces the cost of organic certification to strengthen market support for U.S. agriculture. It reimburses organic producers and handlers for a portion of their organic certification costs. The certification assistance available through the USDA is authorized by two different pieces of legislation. The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) is authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, commonly know as the Farm Bill. The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Cost Share Program is authorized by the Federal Crop Insurance Act of 2001.
The USDA enters into noncompetitive grant agreements with and allocates cost share funds to State agencies (typically Departments of Agriculture) to administer the cost share programs. Organic operators who have received organic certification, or a renewal of certification, from an accredited certifying agent are eligible to participate and typically submit a one-page application for, a W-9 Tax Form, proof of certification, and an itemized invoice of certification expenses to their State agency. The State agency reviews the application and then may reimburse the operator for 75% of the cost of certification, up to a maximum of $750 per category of certification - crops, wild crops, livestock and processed products.
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, late fees, transitional certification inspections, and inspections necessary to address NOP regulatory violations.
If your operation is already certified organic, contact your State Agency for application procedures. You can locate your state agency contact at http://bit.ly/NOPCostShareStates.