This new program supports Minnesota farmers by reimbursing a portion of the costs they may incur while transitioning to organic.
Q: Who qualifies for this program?
A: Minnesota residents who are new to organic (nothing certified) and actively transitioning farm land or animals (not just thinking about it).
Q: Do I have to be transitioning my whole farm to organic?
Q: What is required?
A1) …an on-farm visit from an accredited certifying agency before December 31, AND
A2) …a document from the certifying agency that verifies you are in transition to organic, AND
A3) …receipts (not canceled checks) for costs billed between January 1 and December 31, AND
A4) …a W-9 Form (PDF).
Q: How do I find a certifying agency?
A: Check the MDA web site for certifiers that take clients in Minnesota and that offer transition verification.
Q: Want kind of payment am I eligible for?
A: 75% of eligible costs, with a maximum payment of $750/year.
Q: What are “eligible costs”?
A: Up to 75% of any/all of the following:
Q: Can I apply more than once?
A: A farm can apply for up to three years, or until you are certified, whichever comes first.
Q: What is the deadline?
A: Your application must be postmarked by mid-February (see application for exact date). You can submit receipts for costs incurred between January 1 – December 31.
Q: Why is the MDA doing this?
A: It is a program that our Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force suggested. They believe, and we agree, that working with a certifying agency during the transition period can improve farmers’ confidence about the transition and help them be more successful. This program makes it more affordable to do that.
Q: How long will the program be available?
A: We are piloting the program right now. Whether it continues will depend on how many people participate and how long funds are available.
Meg Moynihan, Principal Administrator
Ag Marketing & Development Division
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org