The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is pleased to announce a federal funding opportunity of $12.5 million for eligible applicants under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). The SOP has applied to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the United States Department of Agriculture to assist in distribution of these funds. This money assists organic producers and handlers by offsetting costs related to SOP registration, certification, and transitional fees paid to certifiers as producers transition to organic. The cost share payments may not exceed 75 percent of costs up to a maximum of $750 per producer/handler for each scope (registration, certification, transitional).
The FSA, in addition to administering the program, will also be directly accepting applications for reimbursement of funds. Operations will be subject to the same eligibility criteria and calculation of cost share payments regardless of whether they apply though the SOP or FSA local office.
For producer or handler applications, FSA county offices will accept applications from producers and handlers for fiscal year 2017 starting on March 20, 2017 and ending October 31, 2017.
In fiscal year 2015/16 CDFA processed and distributed a total amount of $1,543,929 to 1,917 producers and handlers.
Learn more about the eligibility requirements and get further details. You may also contact the SOP at (916) 900-5030.