Minnesota organic farmers and processors can apply for a rebate of up to 75 percent of the cost of their organic certification through The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Organic Cost Share Program. Applications are now being accepted until October 31, 2019.
Organic certification is a third-party verification system. It 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.
Funds for the cost share program come from a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA). Operations that received certification (or had ongoing certification) between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 are eligible for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification-related expenses.
The maximum rebate available is $750 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest). The MDA also offers a similar cost share program for transitioning to organic.
To qualify, applicants must be certified organic by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. The MDA has already mailed application packets to all certified organic operations in the state.
Any certified organic farmer or processor who did not receive a packet can obtain all the program details and necessary materials on the Organic Agriculture section of the MDA’s website or by contacting Cassie Dahl, Organic Agriculture Specialist, at 651-201-6134 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants that do not wish to apply with MDA may apply through their local USDA-FSA Office.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications