Reimbursement available for organic certification costs

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the National Organic Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2014.

“Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 of the organic certification costs they incurred between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014,” 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 2014 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014, and a completed IRS W-9 Form. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 31.

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 edlund@nd.gov.

Goehring said the national program provided North Dakota with $99,000 for certification reimbursement for 2014.

More information, including program guidelines and application forms, are available on the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board website at www.ndorganics.nd.gov/ or the NDDA website: www.nd.gov/ndda/program/organic-certification-cost-share-program.