Cost share

#National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) helps certified operators afford the expense of organic certification. In 2020, the program will refund up to 50 percent, or a maximum of $500, of certification costs per “scope” — crops, wild harvest, livestock, processing, and handling — for eligible organic operations.

Recipients must be certified organic under the National Organic Program to receive cost share assistance. Organic farmers and handlers 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.

2020 Cost Share Fact Sheet

#Refund amounts

For 2020 through 2023, the USDA Farm Service Agency is revising the reimbursement amount to 50 percent of a certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. This change is due to the limited amount of funding available and will allow a larger number of certified organic operations to receive assistance

The reimbursement is includes all applicable costs such as application fees, certification fees and inspection costs. Eligible certification scopes include: crops, wild harvest, livestock, processing, and handling. Reimbursements will be made on a first-come, first serve basis until all funds have been disbursed, or the grant period ends.

Note

Once you have spent money on certification fees, even if prior to your inspection costs, you can apply for cost share. You have likely maxed out on reimbursement at this point and need not delay in submitting your application. Multi-scope operations (e.g., crop and livestock certifications) are eligible to be refunded for additional costs.

#Documentation

All applicants must submit the following documentation to be eligible for cost share reimbursement:

  • A completed organic cost share reimbursement application form
  • Organic certificate with date, certification number, and name of certifier
  • Itemized invoice detailing certification fees that have been marked “paid”
  • Financial forms as required by FSA

Alert

Operations with suspended or revoked certifications are ineligible for reimbursement.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The application process will differ slightly depending on location — if using a state department of agriculture, or if accessing the Farm Service Agency.

Note

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.

#2020 application

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced the availability of organic certification cost-share assistance for organic producers and handlers through state departments of agriculture.

The deadline for Cost Share applications is: October 31, 2020.

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, 2019, through September 30, 2020.

Note

Renewing clients can and should use your existing certificate — the USDA does not require you to submit a newly issued certificate in the cost share packet, only a copy of paid invoices by your state’s deadline. Any certificate issued in the past 18 months is accepted with your application.

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, 2020.

FSA application process
To apply through FSA, you can find an FSA county office near you with the Service Center Locator. The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA’s eForms site, by selecting “Browse forms” and entering “OCCSP” in the “title or keywords” field on the search page. For more, visit the FSA website. Alternatively, you can download the 2020 application form here.

Selected state application process
For some organic producers, you can still apply for cost share funds via your state department of agriculture. Due to the changes in total reimbursement available to organic producers, we strongly advise you verify if your state is participating in Cost Share administration.

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