Funding Available through USDA Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program
The USDA recently announced the implementation of the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) that helps cover the costs incurred with the transition to organic production from conventional production. The OTECP uses funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) to cover a portion of the costs from organic certification, organic production transition costs (such as pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system), registration fees for educational events, and soil testing.
The breakdown of supplemental coverage offered by OTECP:
- 25% of organic certification costs
- 75% of transition costs
- 75% of registration fees for educational events
- 75% of soil testing costs
In addition to the OTECP, the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) is another program offered by the USDA that helps cover 50% of the organic certification costs. Producers can collect the benefits from both the OTECP and OCCSP for the 2021/2022 year.
Costs for transition must have been incurred from October 1st, 2021, through September 30th, 2022. The deadline to apply for both OTECP and OCCSP is October 31st. Contact your FSA agent to learn more about the OTECP/OCCSP and to apply.
Read the USDA-FSA announcement here: USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs of Organic, Transitioning Producers
Learn more about OTECP: Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program | Farmers.gov
Learn more about OCCSP: Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) (usda.gov)
Contact your local FSA agent to learn more and apply for the OTECP and OCCSP programs: Find Your Local Service Center | Farmers.gov