The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from producers for reimbursement under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program.
Organic certification fees paid between Oct. 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 are eligible. Applications for reimbursement are available at this link and applications are due by November 1, 2022.
Reimbursement for 50% of eligible certification costs up to $500 is available for operators who have been certified by a USDA accredited certifying agent. Certification costs that have already been reimbursed through the USDA-Farm Service Agency or other agencies are not eligible. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture administers the USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program through funding provided by the USDA.
“Anything we can do to help offset costs for Arkansas producers is a win for agriculture, which is our state’s largest industry,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the USDA on this program that provides important cost-share assistance to an expanding sector of Arkansas’s agricultural industry.”
According to the latest data available from the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service, organic production in Arkansas has grown significantly since 2012.
From 2012 to 2019, the number of farms selling organically produced commodities increased from 32 farms to 67. Sales of organic products increased from $789,000 in 2012 to over $55 million in 2019, an increase of almost 6,900%.