Organic certification cost-share assistance available
Program to pay up to 75 percent of cost
Organic growers in North Carolina can apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified or recertified producers through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Growers who are certified or recertified after Sept. 30, 2008, can apply for assistance through the program. The program will pay 75 percent of the cost of certification up to a total of $750.
The program is for the 2008-2009 season, and is funded through a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
To apply, growers must fill out an authorization form with the certifying agency and have that agency mail the form, a copy of the farm’s certification and an invoice to the NCDA&CS Organic Certification Cost Share Program at 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. The invoice must show the total cost of certification and the 75 percent portion that is eligible for reimbursement.
Certifying agencies or growers with questions can call Kevin Hardison, NCDA&CS Marketing Division, at (919) 733-7887.
“Currently there are more than 100 certified organic farms in North Carolina,” Hardison said. “Growers have more than 6,000 acres certified, producing a variety of vegetables, livestock, herbs and other products.”