The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been notified it will
receive $271,800 to reimburse producers and handlers who either
obtain or renew their certification in the federal fiscal year that
ends Sept. 30, 2014. The reimbursement covers 75 percent of
certification costs, up to a maximum of $750.
“These funds will help growers who want to enter the rapidly-growing
market for organic products,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said.
“However, they're available on a first-come, first-served basis, so
I encourage those interested to contact us as soon as possible.”
The funds will be distributed to eligible recipients in the order
their application packets are returned. Operations must apply to the
participating agency in the state in which they are located. In
Illinois, that agency is the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Entities operating in more than one state should apply in the state
where their federal tax returns are filed. Producers may apply for
reimbursement even if they have received payments through the
program in previous years. However, they only may apply for
reimbursements once per certificate or certification category per
year, as verified by certification documentation.
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Operations must possess current USDA organic certification to
be eligible to receive reimbursement. This means they either
must have successfully received their initial USDA organic
certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent, or must
have incurred expenses related to the renewal of their USDA
organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent
between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Operations with a
suspended or revoked certification are ineligible to participate
in the program.
The assistance comes from the USDA's National Organic Certification
Cost-Share Program. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 1,
2014. Application forms and additional details can be obtained by
calling the department's Bureau of Marketing, Promotion and Grants
at (217) 524-9129 or visiting its website at
[Text received, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT