Certified and transitioning producers: Apply now for reimbursement from USDA

Agricultural producers and handlers who are certified organic, along with producers and handlers who are transitioning to organic production, can now apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) and Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), which 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.

Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) covers:

  • Certification costs for organic producers and handlers (25% up to $250 per scope)
  • Eligible expenses for transitional producers, including fees for pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system plan (75% up to $750)
  • Registration fees for educational events (75% up to $200)
  • Soil testing (75% up to $100)

Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) covers:

  • 50% or up to $500 per scope of certification costs in 2022. This cost share for certification is available for crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling, and state organic program fees.

How to Apply

Applicants can receive cost share through both OTECP and OCCSP. Both OTECP and OCCSP cover costs incurred from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022. Applications are due October 31, 2022, and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will make payments as applications are received.

To apply contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at your local USDA Service Center and be ready to provide documentation of organic certification and eligible expenses.

For OTECP, you may also apply online through the OTECP Application Portal.

For OCCSP, NYS applicants may also apply through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets by contacting: Emily Cook | (518) 485-9974 | Emily.Cook@agriculture.ny.gov.

Photo by João Jesus