NDA to facilitate USDA cost-share program for Nebraska's certified organic industry
Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach March 23 announced that Nebraska will receive funding from the United States Department of Agriculture to aid the state's organic producers and processors with certification costs.
"Nebraska's organic industry continues to grow. This cost-share program will provide our producers with an incentive to continue its growth," said Ibach. "Nebraska producers were able to utilize $35,000 in funds from this program when we were able to offer them in 2005 and 2006."
Authorized by the 2007 farm bill, the National Organic Program's Cost-Share Program is designed to assist producers and handlers of agriculture products in obtaining certification under the NOP guidelines. Those guidelines require certification and compliance with national standards in order to sell, label, or represent agricultural products as organic. Producers and handlers can receive reimbursement for up to 75% of the costs of obtaining certification, with a maximum payment of $750. The actual cost-share amount will be based on a percentage of the total the applicant paid for NOP certification. Nebraska has received $60,000 in federal funds for reimbursement to eligible participants.
Applicants must have incurred costs for organic certification or renewal certification between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, in order to be eligible for cost-share reimbursement. The funds will be reimbursed in the order applications are received, until the monies are exhausted, or until the eligibility period ends. All applications for reimbursement are due by April 30, 2009.
To find out more about the program, Nebraska's organic producers and handlers should call NDA at 402-471-4876 or 800-422-6692.
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