LINCOLN—The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is accepting applications until Nov. 1, 2016, from eligible producers and handlers in the state wanting to participate in USDA’s National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. Producers and handlers who are currently certified organic under the National Organic Program (NOP), and whose certified land is located in Nebraska, are eligible to receive a 75 percent refund (up to $750) for expenses associated with each of their 2016 certifications.
“The USDA created this program to encourage and support organic farmers who have become officially NOP certified,” NDA Cost-Share Program Manager Steve Martin said. “Our department administers the program for USDA and has been allocated $115,300 in funds for 2016. We strongly encourage our eligible NOP-certified growers and handlers to take advantage of this program.”
Martin said that USDA listed 217 NOP-certified organic operations in Nebraska in 2014. USDA’s Organic Survey indicates Nebraska’s value of sales of organically-produced commodities in 2014 was nearly $76 million. That compares to $48.6 million in value of sales in 2008.
Applications for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program can be found at www.nda.nebraska.gov or by calling800-422-6692. Applications are processed as they are received and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are expended.
The USDA National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program was part of the 2014 Farm Bill and will be funded for the next two years.