Published: June 6, 2022

Category: Organic News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) and Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) are two initiatives that help producers and handlers cover the cost of organic certification, along with other related expenses. Applications for OTECP and OCCSP are both due October 31, 2022.

OTECP builds on support offered through OCCSP to ameliorate impacts on transitioning and organic producers from the COVID-19 pandemic. OTECP funds will cover certification costs for organic producers and handlers (25% up to $250 per category); eligible expenses for transitional producers (75% up to $750); educational event registration fees (75% up to $200); and soil testing (75% up to $100). For 2022, OCCSP covers 50% up to $500 per category of certification costs.

Eligible categories include crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling and State organic program fees. Producers can receive cost share through both programs.

To apply, contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at local USDA Service Centers or apply through participating State agencies.

Additional help for insurance and for Micro Farms (small-scale operations selling locally) has come from the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program.

Funds for OTECP come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; OCCSP is funded through the Farm Bill.

Organic & Non-GMO Insights June 2022