Minnesota organic farmers and handlers are encouraged to apply for a rebate of up to 75% of their organic certification costs through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The Minnesota Organic Certification Cost-Share Program is now accepting applications through November 1, 2023.
Organic certification is a third-party verification system that assures consumers the organic products they buy are produced in accordance with federal organic regulations. Organic operations must follow National Organic Standards and are monitored through review of their records and on-site inspections at least once a year.
Operations that received certification (or had ongoing certification) between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, are eligible for reimbursement of up to 75% of certification-related expenses, with a maximum of $750 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, and wild harvest). Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and come from a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Interested farmers or handlers can review full program and application details on the cost-share program web page. Applicants that do not wish to apply through the MDA may apply through their local FSA Office. Questions can be directed to Cassie Dahl at Cassie.Dahl@state.mn.us or 651-201-6134.
For those transitioning a farm operation to organic, the MDA also offers the Minnesota Transition to Organic Cost-Share Program.
Logan Schumacher, MDA Communications