Commissioner Andy Gipson announced that the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) is currently offering a cost-share program for Mississippi organic producers and handlers receiving certification or continuation of certification by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredited certifying agent. “This is a great opportunity for farmers that have received the USDA Organic Certification in the past year to help offset some of the costs associated with this certification,” said Commissioner Gipson, “I am glad that we are able to offer this program again for 2021, and I encourage our farmers to take advantage of this opportunity.” Funding is available for those that received the certification between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. Individual organic operators are eligible for reimbursement of 50 percent of their fiscal year 2021 certification costs up to a maximum of $500 per certification scope. The National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program currently recognizes the following certification scopes eligible for reimbursement: crops, wild crops, livestock, and handling (i.e., processing). To be eligible for reimbursement, the following must be provided to MDAC by applicants: proof of valid certification issued by a USDA accredited certifying agent, a reimbursement application form, an itemized receipt that identifies allowable costs paid within the qualification period, and an IRS W-9 form. Applicants must be Mississippi organic producers and handlers located within the State of Mississippi. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are depleted. Operations may receive one reimbursement per year. The deadline to submit applications is November 1, 2021. For more information about this program or to obtain an application, visit www.mdac.ms.gov/market-development/national-organic-cost-share-program or contact Susan Lawrence at email@example.com or (601) 213-7542.
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