Financial assistance available for organic certification

BROOMFIELD — Producers and handlers of organic agricultural products can apply for reimbursements toward the cost of organic certification through the United States Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

In order to qualify for this year’s reimbursement, producers and handlers must have received certification or continuation of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent beginning Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30.

Under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2013, cost-share assistance payments are limited to 75 percent of a producer’s or handler’s certification costs up to a maximum of $750 per category of certification. These funds will be distributed until exhausted on a first-come first-serve basis. The deadline for submitting application is Nov. 15.

Applications for the reimbursements should be submitted after the certification process is complete and all fees have been paid. Proof of certification and certification fees paid must be submitted with the application.

CDA is accredited by the USDA as an organic state certifier under the National Organic Program and currently certifies approximately 200 facilities in Colorado. Producers and handlers who use other certifying agencies may still qualify for this cost-share program but must contact CDA for the appropriate forms.

For copies of the cost-assistance forms, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi or call Barbara Rosenbach at 303-869-9051.

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