MDA funding available for organic farm transition support
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota farmers can apply for Organic Transition Cost Share funding again in 2016. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) offers this program to refund a significant portion of the cost to work with an organic certifying agency during some or all of the 36 months that transitioning to organic typically takes.
“This program makes it affordable for farmers to get feedback on their farming practices and recordkeeping during the transition,” said MDA Organic Program Administrator, Meg Moynihan. “Having one or more practice inspections during the transition can also help farmers be prepared when they’re ready to certify.”
Only farmers who are new to organic farming are eligible to receive payments. The program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost to hire a certifier during the transition to organic, which can take up to three years. The mock inspection is required each year individuals participate. Applicants can also submit their costs for soil testing and attending an approved organic conference for reimbursement. Payments are capped at $750 per year. For costs paid during calendar year 2016, applications must be postmarked no later than February 14, 2017.
The application form, a set of Frequently Asked Questions, and a list of approved certifying agencies that offer transition verification are all available at http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTYwNTA1LjU4NjY3ODYxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE2MDUwNS41ODY2Nzg2MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2ODI0NzE3JmVtYWlsaWQ9aW5mb0ByZWRsYWtlbmF0aW9ubmV3cy5jb20mdXNlcmlkPWluZm9AcmVkbGFrZW5hdGlvbm5ld3MuY29tJnRhcmdldGlkPSZmbD0mZXh0cmE9TXVsdGl2YXJpYXRlSWQ9JiYm&&&100&&&http://www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling 651-201-6012.