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Cost sharing makes organic certification more affordable

ST. PAUL — Minnesota organic farmers and processors can apply for a rebate of up to 75% of the cost of their organic certification through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Organic Cost Share Program. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 31.

Organic certification is a third-party verification system. It assures consumers the organic products they buy are produced in accordance with federal organic regulations. Organic operations must follow National Organic Standards, and are monitored through review of their records and on-site inspections at least once a year.

The maximum rebate available is $750 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest). The MDA also offers a similar cost share program for transitioning to organic.

To qualify, applicants must be certified organic by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. The MDA has already mailed application packets to all certified organic operations in the state.

Any certified organic farmer or processor who did not receive a packet can access information at mda.state.mn.us/organic, or by contacting Cassie Dahl, Organic Ag Specialist, at (651) 201-6134 or cassie.dahl@state.mn.us. Applicants may apply through their local USDA-FSA office.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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