The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced it will receive $478,600 to help growers and handlers of organic agricultural products recover part of the cost of their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certification.
Producers and handlers who incur expenses for obtaining or renewing their organic certification between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014 are eligible for reimbursement. Payments will be up to 75% of an individual producer’s certification costs, with a maximum of $750 per certification scope (crops, livestock, handling, wildcrops).
Grant funding is provided by USDA’s National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. Approximately $11.5 million is available nationwide for organic certification cost-share assistance, making certification more accessible for certified producers and handlers.
The department is working in partnership with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) to verify the certification of organic operations and to manage reimbursement requests. Those interested in applying for cost-share assistance may do so directly through OEFFA. Applications must be postmarked by November 15, 2014.