The Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) has entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA, Agriculture Marketing Service for the allocation of organic certification cost share funds. The USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program was authorized under 7 U.S.C. 6523, as amended by section 10301 Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. Under this Act, USDA is authorized to provide cost share assistance to organic producers and handlers certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) by accredited certifying agents.
The program will reimburse certified organic producers, processors or handlers of organic agricultural products 75% of allowable expenses up to a maximum of $750 per certification or category of certification. To qualify, a producer, processor or handler’s inspection and certification or recertification must occur between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.
NOP currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock and processing/handling. Entities may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification per qualifying period. Application for multiple certification reimbursements must be made separately.
If you are interested in participating in the program, please submit the following documents:
• Completed AAD Organic Cost Share Application
• Copy of current certification (s) (Must be dated between 10/1/14 and 9/30/15)
• Complete W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number)
• Copy of invoice statement showing fees assessed for certification from a USDA accredited certifier
• Proof of payment to certifier for costs incurred for certification or recertification.
Mail all documents to:
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Arkansas Agriculture Department
1 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Application packets must be received by October 31, 2015 to be considered.
The USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program was authorized by 7 U.S. C. 6523, as amended by section 10004 ( c ) of the Agriculture Act of 2014 which amended the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. Under this act, USDA is authorized to assist producers and handlers of agricultural products in obtaining certification under the National Organic Program (NOP) by accredited certifying agents. Questions regarding this press release may be directed to Zachary Taylor, Director of Marketing, at 501-219-6324 or email Zachary.Taylor@aad.ar.gov.