DATCP: Deadline extended for organic cost share applications

Contact: Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002, [email protected]

Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020, [email protected]

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has extended the deadline to apply for the organic cost share program through November 30, 2011 or until funds are exhausted. This program provides cost share assistance annually to producers or handlers of organic agricultural products who are currently certified by a USDA/NOP Accredited Certifying Agent.

Any certification related expenses including inspection fees, user fees, and certifier-required testing can be reimbursed through this application, if they were paid from October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2011. The organic cost share program provides for a 75% cost share of certification costs with a maximum payment of $750 per farm or company. If the farm or company is certified in more than one certification category; such as crops, livestock, and handler; they are eligible for reimbursement up to $750 in each category.

Nearly half of the certified organic farms in the state have participated in the cost share program in past years. Wisconsin ranks second in the nation in the number of organic farms with over 1,200 certified organic farms and also has over 200 companies certified to process organic products.

Application materials are available at datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Organic_Farming/Cost_Share_Program/. For questions or more information, contact Laura Paine, DATCP’s Organic Agriculture Specialist, at 608-224-5120 or [email protected].