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.
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 Operations with suspended, revoked, or withdrawn certifications are also ineligible for cost share reimbursement.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
- 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.
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
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.