On August 10, 2020, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced a change in reimbursement for those participating in the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Per the announcement, certified producers and handlers are now eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the certification expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. Previously, FSA has provided assistance up to 75% or $750 per scope (crops, wild harvest, livestock, and handling).
The USDA reports that this change was made to ensure there is sufficient funding to serve as many applicants as possible. The changes are effective through Fiscal Year 2023, unless congress authorizes additional funding.
- Am I eligible? Any certified operation that paid eligible certificaiton expenses between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 may apply
- How do I apply? Apply through FSA. You can find a couny office near you with the Service Center Locator. You will need to submit:
- Your current NOP Certificate
- A paid invoice for certification fees (that were paid between 10/1/2019 and 9/30/2020)
- Completed OCCSP Form (found on the USDA’s eForms site)
- When is it due? Since the due date (October 31st) falls on a weekend, appplications are due the next business day: November 2, 2020
OCCSP reimbursements are on a first-come, first served basis, so we encourage you to apply well in advance of the deadline if you are able.
To learn more, visit the OCCSP Website or contact your FSA county office.