RALEIGH — Organic growers in North Carolina can apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified or for recertification through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Growers who are certified or recertified between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, can apply for assistance through the program.
“This cost-share program will cover up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification for a farm, up to a total of $750,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The program has been popular, and with funds available on a first-come, first-served basis, I would encourage growers to submit their applications early.”
Under the grant, operations can be certified and reimbursed in four separate categories: crops, livestock, wild crop and handler/processor.
The program is for the 2015-2016 season and is funded through a $168,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 1.
To apply, growers must provide a completed application, along with detailed invoices/statements from the certifying agency listing all National Organic Program certified costs, proof of payment, an IRS W-9 form and a copy of your certificate or letter from your certifier if this is a new certification. All charges must be for USDA organic certification. The application can be downloaded at www.ncdaorganic.org.
Mail the application and required documents to the NCDA&CS Organic Certification Cost Share Program, Attn. Heather Barnes, at 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. For questions, contact Barnes at 919-707-3127.