The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75 percent of their certification costs per scope of operation, with a maximum of $750 per scope.
The NOCCSP is available to producers and handlers (e.g., all scopes of certification). The program provides $11.5 million dollars of assistance per fiscal year 2014 through 2018. Unused funds may be rolled into the next fiscal year.

Why is Cost Share Important?

Organic certification cost share assistance helps small and mid-sized organic farm businesses afford annual certification costs. As the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition notes, farm businesses are a core part of the domestic organic supply chain, and without them, companies that use their product would be forced to source from abroad in order to meet demand for organic in the U.S.

We strongly encourage all organic farmers, livestock operations, and handlers to apply for cost share funding support. Recipients must be certified organic under the National Organic Program to receive cost-share assistance and organic producers and handlers located in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to participate.

2016 Participation Information

The USDA has announced the availability of approximately $11.7 million in funding for organic certification cost-share assistance for organic producers and handlers through state departments of agriculture. The program is designed to be noncompetitive financial assistance that helps defray the costs of organic certification.

For certified clients who renewed:
For those who renewed their organic certification and have paid their certification and inspection fees, you only need to provide proof of payment for eligible fees between from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.*

For new clients:
For those who have applied for certification for the first time, you must provide proof of payment for all eligible incurred costs and receive your certification before September 30, 2016.

What is the deadline to apply for cost share reimbursement?

The application deadline is different for each state. For information on how to apply for cost-share reimbursement in your state, contact your state cost-share representative for deadlines.

What do I need for documentation?

  • A completed state application for cost-share reimbursement
  • A copy of your certificate or letter from your certifier that proves you received initial or renewal/continuation of certification between October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016
  • Copies of all paid associated organic certification and inspection expense receipts
  • A W-9 form or equivalent

Can Oregon Tilth provide documentation for me?

Oregon Tilth has been working hard to assist states facilitating the cost-share reimbursement. Some states now allow Oregon Tilth to provide the receipt for fees paid and certificates (when applicable) for the clients we certify. Oregon Tilth is happy to provide whatever assistance you may need either directly to you or your state agency.

How much am I eligible to receive reimbursement for?

The maximum reimbursement is 75% (or up to $750) of certification costs per certification scope, including application fees, certification fees and inspection costs.

Note: If you have spent $1,000 on certification fees prior to your inspection costs, apply now! You have already maxed out on reimbursement at this point and should not delay with submitting your application per your state’s requirements.

Who is the contact person at Oregon Tilth for all cost share questions?

If you have any questions about cost share, please contact Certifications Operations Assistant, Chelsea Wilson or at (503) 378-0690.

Additional information:

* You can and should use your certificate – the USDA does not require you to submit a newly issued 2015 certificate in the cost share packet, only a copy of paid invoices by your state’s deadline.