Organic Certification Cost Share Programs

The objective of this program is to provide financial assistance to certified organic producers and handlers.

credit: Flickr

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2010: Over 8,000 applicants were assisted. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Organic Certification Cost Share Programs reimburse eligible producers and handlers for a portion of the costs of organic certification.

Applicants may receive reimbursements of up to 75% of the costs of certification, with an annual maximum of $750.

State agencies (typically Departments of Agriculture) work with the USDA to administer the program.

After entering into a cooperative agreement, the state agencies process applications for cost share funds, and the USDA reimburses them.

Applicants typically submit a one-page application form, along with proof of certification and an itemized invoice, to their State s department of agriculture.

Funds may only be used to provide direct reimbursements to certified organic producers and handlers.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility


Beneficiary Eligibility

See for more information.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The USDA will coordinate with State governments to determine budgetary allocations.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. The submission of a Standard Form 424 through Grants.Gov is required.

Award Procedures

Allocations are awarded to State Departments of Agriculture or their equivalents based on the number of certified organic operations in the State, as well as the history of participation in the cost share program by certified organic operations in that State.


Sep 23, 2011


The National Cost Share Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 6523, as amended by section 10301 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008., Title 7, Part 94, Section 6523, 7 U.S.C 6523, as amended by Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Title 7, Part C, Section 10301, 7 U.S.C 10301; The Agricultural Management Assistance Cost Share Program is authorized under Section 1524 of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (FCIA), as amended. , Title 7, Part 36, Section 1501-1524, 7 U.S.C 1501-1524.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 1 to 15 days.


Not Applicable.


Cooperative agreements last only one fiscal year in duration. Pending the availability of funds, States may sign a new cooperative agreement for the ensuing fiscal year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Title 7, Chapter 94, Part 6523.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is available for one federal fiscal year. Participating States must disburse funds within 90 days of the end of the federal fiscal year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed upon request, utilizing Standard Form 270, "Request for Advance or Reimbursement.".

Post Assistance Requirements


A final narrative report is required, which is to be no more than 2 pages.

The report should cover:


Description of the outreach activities carried out by the State and/or subrecipients, including the methods used to identify potential applicants, means of contact with potential applicants, and outreach materials for distribution, i.e.

publications, announcements press releases, etc.

Description of problems or obstacles related to reimbursement, program administration, outreach, etc.

during the reporting period.

Explanation for any denial of requests for reimbursement.

No cash reports are required.

No progress reports are required.

Quarterly and final reports are required, utilizing Standard Form 425, Federal Financial Report.

No performance monitoring is required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The program requires record of applicant by name, applicants" certification expenses, and the reimbursement paid to the applicants. In accordance with 7 CFR 3016.42, grant recipients should retain all records relating to the grant for a period of three years after the final Federal Financial Report been submitted to the Federal Agency, or until final resolution of any audit finding or litigation, whichever is later. Electronic records retention is acceptable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Formula Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 10 $67,000,000; FY 11 Estimate Not Available; FY 12 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Awards range from $5,000 - $1,050,000 annually.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulations may be viewed at Guidelines may be viewed at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Betsy Rakola 1400 Independence Ave, SW
Room 2640-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-0268 Email: Phone: 2027200081

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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