Reminder to organic farmers to sign up for certification cost-share
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds certified organic growers and manufacturers that the deadline to apply for the 2010-11 Minnesota Organic Certification Cost Share Program is October 31.
"So far, we've received 50 more applications than we had at this same time last year, which is terrific," said MDA Organic Specialist Meg Moynihan, who administers the program. Moynihan says MDA issued a total of 483 rebates last year.
Most organic farms and product manufacturers are required to obtain third party certification verifying that they meet federal organic standards. The Organic Certification Cost Share program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of certification. Funds are provided from the federal Farm Bill and apportioned among states by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The MDA estimates that there are about 700 certified organic farms and nearly 250 certified organic handlers in Minnesota.
Application materials are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling 651-201-6012. All applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2011.