Organic producers can recoup certification costs

BISMARCK – Applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the National Organic Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2012.

“Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 of the organic certification costs they incurred between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Last year, North Dakota farmers and processors received a total of $110,041 in reimbursement.

Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification also benefits organic producers and processors by enabling them to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.

Applications must include a 2012 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012.

Applicants who are certified by International Certification Services (ICS) or the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) should apply for reimbursement through their certifier. These organizations certify about 95 percent of North Dakota organic producers. All other producers should contact Emily Edlund at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2191 or edlund@nd.gov.

More information, including program guidelines and application forms, are available on the ND Organics website at www.ndorganics.nd.gov/.

Applications must be submitted by Oct. 31.