INDIANAPOLIS (May 26, 2016) – The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is accepting applications for the Indiana Organic Certification Cost Share program from now until December 1, 2016. Indiana’s organic farmers and handlers can apply for a rebate of up to 75 percent of the cost of their organic certification.
“This program was established to make organic certification more affordable and accessible,” said ISDA Director, Ted McKinney. “I encourage all eligible producers and handlers to take advantage of this opportunity which could help recoup some of the expenses associated with becoming a USDA Certified Organic Operation.”
Organic certification is a third-party verification system assuring 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 USDA. Operations that received certification (or had ongoing certification) between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 are eligible for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification-related costs with a maximum of $750 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest).
Below is a list with a sample of costs which may be reimbursed, as well as those which are ineligible (Note: This list is meant to be demonstrative, not exhaustive):
- Application Fees
- Inspection costs
- First-time USDA NOP certification fees
- Travel costs/per diem for organic inspectors
- User fees / sales assessments
- Late Fees
- Inspections due to violations of NOP regulations
- Any charges related to certifications other than USDA organic
- Transitional certifications
- Materials and Supplies
To qualify, applicants must be certified organic by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. If you have questions about the processing of your application, please contact Beth Dawson at (317) 232-8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about the Indiana Organic Cost Share program, please email them to Hannah Ferguson at email@example.com.