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 75% of their direct certification costs paid between October 1 and September 30 annually, not to exceed $750 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.
Reimbursement is available on a first come, first served basis.
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 Operations with suspended, revoked, or withdrawn certifications are also ineligible for cost share reimbursement.
- 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
- State Organic Program fees (NOCCSP only)
- 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
This grant opportunity is now CLOSED for the 2023 application period. You may still apply for late filing directly to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) office through February 4, 2024.
For VOF-certified businesses: If your business is certified through the Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) certification program, please contact NOFA-VOF for an expedited application process.
For all other USDA-accredited certified operations, please submit the following completed documents:
- 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, 2022 through September 30, 2023
Applications should be mailed to:
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Organic Reimbursement Program
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2901
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.