Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2017.
“Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 of the organic certification costs paid between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017,” Goehring said.
Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.
Applicants must provide a 2017 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, an itemized statement showing payment between October 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, and a completed IRS W-9 Form for new applicants. Applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2017 but are reimbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted.
Applicants who are certified by International Certification Services or the Organic Crop Improvement Association Chapter 1 should apply for reimbursement through the certifier. These organizations certify most North Dakota organic producers. All other producers should contact Emily Edlund at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goehring said the program provides North Dakota producers with $229,000 for certification reimbursement for 2017.
More information, including program guidelines and application forms, are available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/marketing-information-division/organics/organic-certification-cost-share-program.
Potential applicants that do not wish to apply through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture can request assistance from the Farm Service Agency.