Funding Available for Organic and Transitioning Growers in California
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for its Organic and Transitional Education Certification Program and Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Both programs provide financial assistance to producers and handlers that help cover the cost of obtaining organic certification and other related expenses. Applications are open to existent organic growers and handlers and those who are transitioning to organic. Producers can receive cost share assistance through both programs for costs incurred from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.
The OTCEP covers the following:
- Certification costs for organic producers/handlers (25% up to $250/category)
- Eligible expenses for transitioning producers, including pre-certification, inspection and plan development fees (75% up to $750)
- Educational event registration fees (75% up to $200)
- Soil testing (75% up to $100)
OCCSP covers 50%, or up to $500 per category, of certification costs.
Those interested in applying should contact the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center. As part of the application process, applicants will need to provide organic certification and eligible expenses documentation. The deadline for both applications is October 31, 2022.