A.M.S. provides funds for organic certification costs

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will provide $1.5 million in fiscal 2008 to help defray the costs of annual organic certification for producers in 16 states.

According to the U.S.D.A., the money primarily is geared toward smaller producers so they will be able to meet the voluntary standards set forth by the National Organic Program regulations.

As part of the U.S.D.A. effort, funding will be made available to Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. In fiscal 2007, the A.M.S. made $1 million available to 15 of the 16 states (Hawaii was not included).

The U.S.D.A. said it will provide cost-share assistance to organic crop and livestock producers receiving certification or update of certification by a U.S.D.A. accredited certifying agent from Oct. 1, 2008, though Sept. 30, 2009. The payments will be limited to 75% of an individual producer’s certification costs up to a maximum of $750, the U.S.D.A. said.

This program is in addition to and separate from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which also is administered by the U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

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