The Missouri Department of Agriculture has funds available for the 2016 National Organic Certification Cost Share Program through funds provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. The program will provide cost share assistance to organic producers and handlers receiving certification or continuation of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agency starting October 1, 2015, and ending September 30, 2016. Under the Act, cost-share assistance payments are limited to 75 percent of an individual producer's or handler's certification costs, with a maximum of $750 per certification or category of certification per year. The National Organic Program (NOP) currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock and processing/handling. Operations may receive one reimbursement per certificate or category of certification per year. Each certificate may be reimbursed separately. Likewise, each category of certification may be reimbursed separately. For a sample list of allowable and unallowable expenses on reimbursement applications, see Chart of Allowable and Unallowable Costs.

To be eligible for reimbursement in the current fiscal year, applicants must successfully receive their first organic certification or have incurred expenses related to the renewal of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agency between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. The organic production or handling operation must be located within Missouri, comply with the USDA National Organic Program regulations for organic production or handling and have received certification or continuation of certification by a USDA-accredited certifying agency between the eligible dates.

One year of certification reimbursement is available from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

Program Authority

The National Organic Certification Cost Share program (NOCCSP) is authorized under section 10606(d)(1) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7901 note), as amended by section 10004(c) of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill; Pub. L. 113–79). Under this authority, Congress authorizes USDA to provide organic certification cost share assistance to certified organic operations (producers and handlers) located within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Program Participants: Organic Operations

To receive cost share assistance from their respective state departments, eligible organic operations must apply to their participating state department to receive cost share payments. Eligible operations must apply to the participating state agency in which they are located to receive cost share reimbursements. Entities operating in more than on state should apply in the state where their federal taxes are filed. These entities may only apply for reimbursements once per certificate or certification category per year, as verified by certification documentation. The applicable National Organic Program (NOP) regulations are available on the NOP website at www.ams.usda.gov/nop. In order to be eligible for reimbursement in the current federal fiscal year, applicants must have received their certification or have incurred expenses related to the renewal of certification by a USDA accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

Allowable Costs

Payments are limited to 75 percent of an individual producer's or handler's certification costs up to a maximum of $750 per certification or category of certification per year. The NOP currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock and processing/handling. Operations may receive one reimbursement per certificate or category of certification per year. Each certificate may be reimbursed separately. Likewise, each category of certification may be reimbursed separately. No other direct costs are permitted. For a sample list of allowable and unallowable expenses on reimbursement applications, see Chart of Allowable and Unallowable Costs.

Chart of Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Below is a list with a sample of costs which may be reimbursed, as well as those which are ineligible. This list is meant to be demonstrative, not exhaustive. Questions about allowable costs should be directed to Catherine.Bohnert@mda.mo.gov.

Allowable Costs

  • Application fees
  • Inspection fees, including travel costs and per diem for organic inspectors
  • Certification costs, including fees necessary to access international markets with which AMS has equivalency agreements or arrangements
  • User fees/sale assessments
  • Postage

Unallowable Costs

  • Inspections due to violations of USDA Organic regulations
  • Charges related to non-USDA organic certifications
  • Transitional certifications
  • Other labeling programs
  • Materials, supplies, & equipment
  • Late fees
  • Membership fees
  • Consultant fees

Applications will be accepted through December 1, 2016.
Based on the receipt of the completed application packet by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, reimbursements will be on a first-come, first-served basis until the limited program funds are exhausted.

First-Time Applicants/Newly Certified Operations and Renewal Applicants

Once an operation receives proof of USDA organic certification from an accredited certifying agency the applicant may apply for reimbursement to the state agency. Reimbursements may not be processed until the applicant is granted certification. For operations that maintain organic certification, the applicant must submit a request for reimbursement to their state agency after they incur expenses. Only allowable expenses incurred within the eligible federal fiscal year (10/1/15 to 9/30/16) can be reimbursed. Applicants should keep records of all invoices and payments for certification-related expenses.

The following documents are required:

  1. An organic certificate with a date, certification number and name of the certifier;
  2. Completed and signed application
  3. An itemized paid invoice detailing allowable certification costs (refer to Allowable and Unallowable Costs) incurred between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 and;
  4. A completed Vendor Input Form

State agencies may verify organic certification through a variety of methods including a copy of an organic certificate and/or verifiable communication from a USDA-accredited certifying agent. The verification document(s) must clearly identify that the certification (and associated allowable expenses) occurred between the dates of October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. National Organic Program website: www.ams.usda.gov/nop/.

For more information contact:
Missouri Department of Agriculture
Catherine Bohnert
Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
PO Box 630 - Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630
573-522-9213

Finding Certifying Agents

Any accredited certifying agency can certify farms in any state, as long as they have the appropriate business licenses for that state. A listing of all of the accredited organic certifiers in the country can be found through the USDA Organic Marketing Service. It should be noted that all of the agencies are listed by the state of their home office, not the states they are working in.

The following agencies have certified entities in Missouri in 2015/2016 according to the USDA Directory.

List of USDA-Authorized Organic Certifying Agents by State of Operation

A Bee Organic (ABO)

40707 Daily Road
De Luz, California 92028
USA
Website: http://www.abeeorganic.com
E-Mail: admin@abeeorganic
Public Phone: 760-731-0155
Contact: Sarah Costin

Agricultural Services Certified Organic (ASCO)

P.O. Box 4871
Salinas, California 93912
USA
Website: http://www.ascorganic.com
E-Mail: info@ascorganic
Phone: 831-449-6365
Contact: Katherine Borchard

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF)

2155 Delaware Ave, Suite 150
Santa Cruz, California 95060
USA
Website: http://www.ccof.org
E-Mail: ccof@ccof.org
Phone: 831-423-2263
Contact: Jake Lewin

Ecocert ICO, LLC (ICO)

201 W Main Street, 2nd Floor
Plainfield, Indiana 46168
USA
Website: http://www.ecocertico.com
E-Mail: info.ecocertico@ecocert.com
Phone: 888-337-8246
Contact: Jeffry Evard

Global Organic Alliance, Inc (GOA)

3185 Township Road 179 P.O. Box 530
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
USA
Website: http://www.goa-online.org
E-Mail: goaorg@centrylink.net
Phone: 937-593-1232
Contact: Betty Kananen

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)

502 East 9th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
USA
Website: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/
organicCertification.asp

E-Mail: maury.wills@iowaagriculture.gov
Phone: 515-281-5783
Contact: Maury Wills

Midwest Organic Services Association, Inc. (MOSA)

122 W Jefferson St. P.O. Box 821
Viroqua, Wisconsin 54665
USA
Website: http://mosaorganic.org/
E-Mail: mosa@mosaorganic.org
Phone: 608-637-2526
Contact: Lexy McManaway

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA)

1900 Hendon Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
USA
Website: http://www.mncia.org/
E-Mail: mncia@mncia.org
Phone: 612-625-7766
Contact: Michelle Menken

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)

41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
USA
Website: http://www.oeffa.org/
E-Mail: organic@oeffa.org
Phone: 614-262-2022
Contact: Andy Hupp

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF)

2800 N. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152
USA
Website: http://www.oda.state.ok.us/

OneCert, Inc. (ONE)

2219 C Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502
USA
Website: http://www.onecert.com
E-Mail: info@onecert.com
Phone: 402-420-6080
Contact: Sam Welsch

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO)

2525 SE 3rd Street
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
USA
Website: http://tilth.org/
E-Mail: organic@tilth.org
Phone: 503-378-0690
Contact: Connie Karr

Organic Certifiers, Inc. (OC)

6500 Casitas Pass Rd.
Ventura, California 93001
USA
Website: https://www.organiccertifiers.com
E-Mail: info@occert
Phone: 805-684-6494
Contact: Susan Siple

Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)

1340 North Cotner Blvd.
Lincoln, Nebraska 68505
Argentina
Website http://www.ocia.org
Phone: 402-477-2323
Contact: Cindy Elder

Quality Assurance International (QAI)

9191 Towne Center Dr., Suite 200
San Diego, California 92122
USA
Website: http://www.qai-inc.com
E-Mail: qai@qai-inc.com
Phone: 734-769-5143
Contact: Iris Rendon

Quality Certification Services (QCS)

214 W University Suite A
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Website: http://www.qcsinfo.org
E-Mail: qcs@qcsinfo.org
Phone: 352-377-0133
Contact: Robin Schreiber