Organic cows and calves raised at Derrydale Farms near Le Sueur, MN
Governor Dayton wants to make sure Minnesota’s organic farmers and food companies know that the Minnesota Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now taking applications.
The organic marketplace continues to grow but something you may not know is that organic farmers and food manufacturers have to “ante up” in order to access this market. They go through a verification process, called “organic certification” that provides consumer assurance that they are following all the provisions of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Standards. And the organic operations themselves have to pay for this certification, which costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year -- depending on the size of the farm or company’s sales.
The USDA provides each state with funds to defray these costs. Organic operations are eligible for a rebate of 75% on what they spend for certification -- capped at $750 per certificate or type of certification they have. For example, dairy farmers pay to have both their crops and animals certified, so their maximum payment is $1,500.