USDA Cost Share Program now open for certified organic farmers

USDA Certified Organic farmers may receive partial reimbursement of fees paid for certification. This program is open through Oct. 31, 2019. Farms or food businesses that have more than one certification are eligible to request cost share for each.

Farmers who have paid for USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Organic Certification this season are eligible to seek partial reimbursement of up to $750 per organic certification. This includes certificates dated between Oct. 31, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2019.  The application process is quite simple but best to be completed in-person at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. To find the office that serves your county, visit FSA Service Cetner Locator and click on your state to see the list of FSA office locations and contact information.

The FSA office staff will provide you with the application and guide you through the process. The application process will take no more than a half an hour but it’s important to have the necessary documents. The required paper work includes:

  • Your most recent USDA Organic Certificate (they will photocopy it).
  • All receipts that show payments for organic certification from this past year.
  • Checking account number and bank routing number information (as the cost-share check will be directly deposited to this account).
  • The completed one-page application form that is available at the FSA office.

Note that you can apply for partial reimbursement for each organic certificate you received this season. For example, if you have a USDA Organic Certificate for layer hens and eggs as well as for vegetable production, then you can apply for two separate certification reimbursements and receive up to $1,500. This cost-share program will close on Oct. 31, 2019.

If you are interested in learning more about the USDA Organic Cost Share Program, visit the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) website.

For information about organic production and the organic certification process, visit Michigan State University’s Michigan Organic Farming Exchange website, or email me at

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