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Organic Certification Cost-Share at Risk

Posted: December 15, 2017

The organic certification cost-share program helps organic farms stay in business and is especially important for small and mid-size farms. We need to support local, organic farms and our regional economies. Without adequate support, we will become increasingly reliant on imports for organic food.

Call your Senators and Your Representative TODAY to urge support for organic certification cost-share! 

Call the Capitol Switchboard:

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Find your Members of Congress here.
Ask to Speak with the staffer who works on agriculture. Use your own words, along with these talking points:
Background Information:

What is Organic Certification Cost-Share?
Organic farmers must go through rigorous annual organic certification process and pay fees each year. Two federal programs, the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA), provide organic farmers with modest reimbursement of up to $750 to cover a portion of their annual certification fees.

Why is Organic Certification Cost-Share Important?
The growing costs of annual organic certification can be prohibitive for some organic operations, especially those of small to medium scale. Yet third-party organic certification is critical to maintaining consistency in the application of organic standards, meeting consumer expectations, and ensuring the integrity of the trusted USDA certified organic brand. The modest certification cost share assistance provided to partially offset these costs has been instrumental in the decision by many farmers and handlers to seek initial organic certification and to remain certified as organic – in spite of the annual costs of doing so. This has helped to foster diversity in the scale of operations certified as organic, and also helps to maintain jobs here in the U.S.

Organic agriculture is a bright spot in our economy. These are jobs that can and should be created here at home. U.S. organic production is lagging demand for organic products. One of the barriers to getting farmers to transition is the concern about the annual costs of organic certification. Rather than relying on imports, certified organic farmers in our communities should be supported in their efforts to meet that demand.   

What are the two programs that provide organic certification cost-share reimbursements?

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