Grants available for land transitioning to organic

BISMARCK – A new program developed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board will help producers transitioning land to certified organic production. The program will provide grants to cover 75 percent of eligible first-time transition costs up to $750, plus $250 for approved educational expenses.

“This program will help future organic producers with the extra costs they have during transition years,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Producers can apply for up to three years or until they are certified, whichever comes first.”

Producers need to be transitioning the land to certified organic production for the first time. Farms that were certified in the past but have since lost certification are not eligible.

Goehring said that the land in transition needs to be located in North Dakota and applicants must be North Dakota residents. They also need to be working with a certifying agent and complete one on-farm inspection.

Costs that are allowed include application fees, inspection fees, soil tests and approved educational expenses. More information, including program guidelines and application forms, is available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda/program/north-dakota-organic-education-and-transition-cost-share-program.

The program runs on the state fiscal year July 1 – June 30. The program has limited funds of $5,000 and approval is on a first-come first-serve basis.

Goehring said persons needing more information should contact Jamie Good at (701) 328-2659 or jgood@nd.gov.