Organic certification cost-share assistance offered


RALEIGH – Organic growers in North Carolina can apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified or for recertification through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Growers who are certified or recertified between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015, can apply for assistance through the program. The program will pay 75 percent of the cost of certification up to a total of $750.

Under the grant, operations can be certified and reimbursed in four separate categories: crops, livestock, wild crop and handler/processor.

The program is for the 2014-2015 season and is funded through a $212,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 1.

“We have had great participation in the past with this program, and I encourage organic growers to get their applications in early as the funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

To apply, growers must provide a completed application, along with detailed invoices/statements from the certifying agency listing all National Organic Program certified costs, proof of payment, an IRS W-9 form and a copy of your certificate or letter from your certifier if this is a new certification. All charges must be for USDA organic certification. The application can be downloaded at www.ncdaorganic.org.

Mail the application and required documents to the NCDA&CS Organic Certification Cost Share Program, Attn. Heather Barnes, at 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. For questions, contact Barnes at 919- 707-3127.

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