Grant helps growers pay for certification

From Contributed Reports

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RALEIGH – North Carolina farmers can apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified organic growers or for recertification through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Growers who are certified or recertified from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015, can apply for assistance through the program, a release says. The program will pay 75 percent of the cost of certification up to a total of $750.

The grant covers crop, livestock, wild crop and handler/processor certifications.

The program for the 2014-15 season is funded through a $212,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To apply, growers must provide a completed application, detailed invoices from the certifying agency listing all National Organic Program certified costs, proof of payment, an IRS W-9 form and, for new certifications, a copy of a certificate or letter from the certifier. All charges must be for U.S.D.A. organic certification.

The application can be downloaded at ncdaorganic.org. Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 1.

Mail the application and required documents to the NCDA&CS Organic Certification Cost Share Program; attention Heather Barnes; 1020 Mail Service Center; Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. For questions, call 919-707-3127.