Organic Certification Cost Share Program

Overview

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) offers funding assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to organic producers and handlers of agricultural products who have received organic certification through a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

Certified organic operations may receive reimbursement of up to 50% of their direct certification costs paid between October 1 and September 30 annually, not to exceed $500 per certification scope. There are up to four eligible certification scopes (crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling), which must be individually inspected for organic certification to be eligible for reimbursement.

Please note that available funds for this program are reduced from previous years.  Reimbursement is available on a first come, first served basis. 

Eligibility

Certified organic producers and handlers who have paid certification fees to become newly certified or re-certified for specific scopes under the National Organic Program (NOP) are eligible for cost-share reimbursement.

Reimbursement for organic transition is not currently available. Operations with suspended, revoked, or withdrawn certifications are also ineligible for cost share reimbursement.  

Allowable Costs
  • Application fees
  • Inspection fees, including travel costs and per diem for organic inspectors
  • USDA organic certification costs, including fees necessary to access international markets with which AMS has equivalency agreements or arrangements
  • User fees/sale assessments
  • Postage
Unallowable Costs
  • Inspections due to violations of USDA Organic regulations or State Organic Program requirements
  • Costs related to non-USDA organic certifications
  • Costs related to transitional certification
  • Costs related to any other labeling programs
  • Materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Late fees
  • Membership fees
  • Consultant fees

How to Apply

The application deadline is November 2, 2020.

VOF-Certified Operations

If your business is certified through the Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) certification program, please contact NOFA-VOF for an expedited application process.

Other USDA-Accredited Certified Operations

Please submit the following completed documents:

  • Application (will be available once USDA announces awards)
  • A current W-9 Form; please see W-9 Form Instructions to ensure an accurate submission
  • Copy of your organic certification
  • Copy of an itemized receipt that identifies allowable costs paid within the qualification period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020

More Information

If you would like to learn more about the USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) organic certification reimbursement opportunity, visit USDA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Programs webpage.  

Program Contact

Terry Smith
Executive Assistant
Terry.Smith@vermont.gov
(802) 828-5667

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

 

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.522.7811
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431