As we transition into the fall season, the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) deadline is rapidly approaching. If your head is spinning trying to figure out what you need to do to receive Organic Cost Share funding for 2023, look no further! Read on to discover the information you need to complete a submission for Cost Share!
First, let us address a recent point of confusion: If you’ve already submitted an application for cost share and your FSA contact is requesting additional information that you don’t recall being necessary in previous years, kindly ask the FSA agent to clarify the program for which the documents are being requested. These requests may not be related to cost share. There are only a few items required to submit for Cost Share, which are listed below. It’s important to note that this situation has arisen multiple times with clients mistakenly assuming that the FSA agent was referring to needing items for Cost Share, only to discover that it pertained to another program. Please bear in mind that your FSA agent may require additional documentation (such as maps or field lists) to verify the organic status of your fields for insurance or programs other than OCCSP.
If you haven’t applied yet and are wondering if Cost Share is applicable to you, answer these questions:
- Are you, or do you represent, a certified organic operation?
- Have you incurred organic certification costs (application fees, inspection costs, etc.) between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023?
If you answered “Yes” to both of these questions: Congratulations! You may be eligible to receive reimbursement of 75% of certification costs (up to $750) per certification scope (crops, wild crops, livestock, handling, etc.) this year.
If you meet the criteria and are ready to apply, you will need to submit through a participating state agency or directly with your local FSA office on or before October 31, 2023.
The application process includes the completion of a one-page form, a W-9 tax form, and submitting the following two items issued by your certifier:
- A copy of your current NOP certificate – this may include those issued in 2023 prior to 9/30/2023 for newly certified operations, or older certificates for clients that were already certified
- A copy of your paid invoice – some OCCSP info indicates the invoice must be “itemized”. For OneCert clients, the fee is all inclusive so there is no further breakdown or itemization.
Now that you know what you need to apply, check out some of these resources to get started: