Following the rules can sometimes be expensive but organic growers in North Carolina can apply for cost-share assistance for being certified or recertified as organic producers. A new state program offers to pay 75% of certification cost, up to $750.
The assistance program is offered through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on a first-come, first-served basis, utilizing a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program is offered for the 2009-2010 season. Deadline for application is Sept. 30, 2010.
An authorization form can be found online at www.ncdaorganic.com.
To apply growers fill out the authorization form and send it in along with a copy of the farm's certification and a copy of the receipts from the certifying agency. Mailed them to the NCDA&CS Division of Marketing, Attn. Kevin Hardison, 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. The invoice must show the total cost of certification and the 75 percent portion that is eligible for reimbursement.
For more information call (919) 733-7887 and ask for NCDA&CS' Kevin Hardison.