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Apply now for Organic Transition Cost Share program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds growers of the Friday, February 14 deadline to apply for the Minnesota Organic Transition Cost Share program.

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The program helps farmers who are transitioning their land or livestock to certified organic status. It reimburses part of the cost to work with a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency during the transition period, which typically lasts 36 months.

Certifying agencies visit farms and verify that the farmers’ practices comply with federal organic regulations.

In addition, farmers can request reimbursement for soil testing costs and registration fees to attend an organic education conference in Minnesota or a neighboring state.

Farmers transitioning to organic can receive a rebate of 75 percent of these eligible costs. The maximum payment is $750 per year for three years or until they achieve organic certification, whichever comes first.

Application forms for both the 2013 and 2014 programs and a set of frequently asked questions are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling (651) 201-6012.

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