May 20, 2022

USDA Now Accepting Applications to Help Farmers Cover Costs of Organic Transition, Certification

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that the application period is open for its Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) and Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).

Both programs are intended to help growers and handlers who are certified organic, as well as growers and handlers who are transitioning to organic production.

OTECP covers: 

  • Certification costs for organic producers and handlers (25 percent up to $250 per category)
  • Eligible expenses for transitional producers, including fees for pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system plan (75 percent up to $750)
  • Registration fees for educational events (75 percent up to $200)
  • Soil testing (75 percent up to $100)

Meanwhile, OCCSP covers 50 percent or up to $500 per category of certification costs. 

Producers have until Oct. 31, 2022 to file applications and should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA). More information can be found on USDA’s website.