MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama growers and handlers of organic agricultural products can recover part of the cost associated with their USDA certification. The reimbursement covers 75% of certification costs, up to a maximum of $750.
The cost-share program makes it easier for certified organic businesses throughout the supply chain by recouping the costs associated with USDA organic certification.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will administer this non-competitive grant program by processing applications for cost share funds, and issuing reimbursements to eligible applicants.
“We encourage organic producers to participate in this program and hope that it will recoup some of the expenses associated with becoming a USDA certified organic operation,” said Commissioner John McMillan.
The Alabama Farmers Federation's Mac Higginbotham agrees producers should apply to the program.
"Organic produce production is great for farmers who sell to a niche market, especially in Alabama," said Higginbotham, Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association executive director. "This program can help curve the costs farmers have when producing organic products."
ADAI distributes funds on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. The rebates are available to cover certification expenses paid between October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017, or for the period of October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018.
Application forms and additional details can be obtained by calling Johnny Blackmon with the ADAI at 334/240-7257 or by email at Johnny.Blackmon@agi.alabama.gov. Applicants may also apply at local USDA Farm Service Agency offices. To locate the office nearest you search https://offices.usda.gov/.
All applications must be submitted by September 30, 2018.