This program helps farmers and handlers with the cost of obtaining organic certification.

Who is eligible?

Organic farmers and handlers who are currently certified to the USDA National Organic Program.
(Note: operations whose certificates have been suspended, revoked, or withdrawn certifications are not eligible for these rebates.)

If you are transitioning to organic, please see our Minnesota Transition to Organic Cost-Share program.

How much is available?

50% of allowed certification costs paid between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. There is a maximum payment of $500 per category or “scope” of certification (crops, livestock, handling, and wild harvest).

For example, if you are a farm certified for both crops and livestock or you are a processor with two different certified facilities, you are eligible for a payment up to $1,000 (but you only have to submit one application form.)

Allowable Costs

  • Application fees
  • Inspection costs
  • Certification costs – including fees necessary to access international markets
  • User fees/sales assessments
  • Postage

Unallowable Costs

  • Inspections due to violations of USDA Organic regulations
  • Charges related to non-USDA organic certifications
  • Transitional certification costs
  • Materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Late fees
  • Membership fees
  • Consultant fees

How to Apply

Applications are due by November 1, 2021.

  1. Complete the Organic Certification Cost-Share application (you can print out and fill in by hand or complete online and then print it out.)
  2. If your certifier is listed on the application, send us the completed application along with your completed IRS Form W-9.
  3. If your certifier is not listed, send us the completed application along with the following:
    • Completed IRS Form W-9
    • Proof of new or continuing certification (copy of your current certificate or letter from certifier)
    • Itemized invoices/statements from your certifier that show payments made between 10/1/20 and 9/30/21. Self-completed worksheets and cancelled checks are not acceptable.
  4. The last date your application can be postmarked is November 1, 2021. We cannot accept emailed or faxed applications. Mail the required items to:

MDA Organic Cost-Share/AMD
625 Robert St N
Saint Paul MN 55155-2538

Applicants that do not want to apply through the MDA may apply at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office. Direct questions about the FSA program to local FSA office staff or Kristina Fast, Agricultural Program Specialist, Minnesota FSA State Office (507-407-5003 or Kristina.Fast@usda.gov).

Funding for this program is provided by and contingent upon funds from cooperative agreement USDA-FSA-SND-NOCCSP-2021 between the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.