October 14, 2011

Organic Certification Cost Share Program Available for Missouri Farmers

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today that funding is available to assist Missouri farmers and food processors in obtaining organic certification for their businesses. Through the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program, producers may be reimbursed for up to $750 of their certification expenses.

"Programs like the Organic Certification Cost Share Program are outstanding tools for our producers, and one of the many ways the Department of Agriculture works to move Missouri agriculture forward," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Hagler. "Missouri is currently home to more than 200 USDA Certified Organic producers, many of whom have found opportunities for their businesses through the program."

As a result of recent growth, Missouri received a 40 percent increase in available funding for the 2012 program from the USDA. Funds will be used to reimburse producers and handlers for 75 percent of their certification costs, up to $750.

Through its Ag Business Development Division, the Department has participated in the Organic Certification Cost Share Program since the USDA launched this program three years ago.

To participate in the program, businesses must obtain or renew their organic certification, complete an application and document their certification costs through Sept. 30, 2012. Applications for cost share funds will be reimbursed in the order applications are received until funds are exhausted or the eligibility period ends, whichever comes first.

To find certified organic producers in Missouri and their products, visit AgriMisouri.com. To learn more about the organic cost-share program or the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit mda.mo.gov.