COST SHARE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM
The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75 percent of their certification costs per scope of operation, with a maximum of $750 per scope.
The NOCCSP is available to producers and handlers (e.g., all scopes of certification). The program provides $11.5 million dollars of assistance per fiscal year 2014 through 2018. Unused funds may be rolled into the next fiscal year.
Why is Cost Share Important?
Organic certification cost share assistance helps small and mid-sized organic farm businesses afford annual certification costs. As the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition notes, “farm businesses are a core part of the domestic organic supply chain, and without them, companies that use their product would be forced to source from abroad in order to meet demand for organic in the U.S.”
We strongly encourage all organic farmers, livestock operations and handlers to apply for cost share funding support. Recipients must be certified organic under the National Organic Program to receive cost-share assistance and organic producers and handlers located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to participate.
2017 Participation Information
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced the availability of approximately $11.5 million in funding for organic certification cost-share assistance for organic producers and handlers through state departments of agriculture. The program is designed to be noncompetitive financial assistance that helps defray the costs of organic certification.
For clients that renewed certification:
For those who renewed their organic certification and have paid their certification and inspection fees, you only need to provide proof of payment for eligible fees between from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.*
For new clients:
For those that applied for certification for the first time, you must provide proof of payment for all eligible incurred costs and receive your certification before September 30, 2017.
Helpful links for applications:
You can start with your state department of agriculture and search for “organic cost share” to see if they are participating or simply visit the Farm Service Agency to download a packet. A few states have been in contact with Oregon Tilth and have made their applications available online:
- Oregon State Department of Agriculture
- Washington State Department of Agriculture
- California State Department of Agriculture
- Farm Service Agency
What is the deadline to apply for cost share reimbursement?
The application deadline is different for each state. For information, please be in contact with your county FSA office.
Can Oregon Tilth provide documentation for me?
Oregon Tilth is happy to provide copies of invoices for fees paid and certificates (when applicable) for the clients we certify. Contact us at any time for assistance as needed.
How much am I eligible to receive reimbursement for?
The maximum reimbursement is 75% (or up to $750) of certification costs per certification scope, including application fees, certification fees and inspection costs.
Note: If you have spent $1,000 on certification fees prior to your inspection costs, apply now! You have maxed out on reimbursement at this point and need not delay in submitting your application.
Who is the contact person at Oregon Tilth for all cost share questions?
If you have any questions about cost share, please contact Certifications Operations Assistant, Chelsea Wilson or at (503) 378-0690.
- USDA Farm Service Agency Organic Cost Share Website
- Organic Certification Cost Share Fact Sheet
- USDA FSA County Office Locator
- USDA FSA Cost Share Application (See information for producers and handlers)
* You can and should use your certificate – the USDA does not require you to submit a newly issued certificate (any copy issued in the past 18 months works) in the cost share packet, only a copy of paid invoices by your state’s deadline.