Producers looking to make their way into organic farming have until October to seek financial assistance from a pair of Department of Agriculture grant programs.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency has opened funding for the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program and the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. The two programs are aimed at helping “producers and handlers cover the cost of organic certification, along with other related expenses,” USDA noted in a release.

“This year, in response to stakeholder feedback, we have aligned the signup dates for these two organic programs and encourage producers to work with the local USDA Service Centers and state agencies to complete the applications,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a statement. “The FSA, and the USDA broadly, are committed to making sure our nation’s organic producers and handlers have the tools they need to continue positively shaping our local and regional food systems.” 

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OTECP covers fees associated with everything from inspection and applications to postage and educational event registration. OCCSP offers cost sharing for organic producers and handlers working to defray the costs of organic certification by paying a portion of their paid certification costs.

Applications will cover the expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022, and are due Oct. 31, 2022.

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