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Organic growers can get money back

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently received approval to reimburse eligible organic growers and processors for up to 50% of their 2020-2021 organic certification costs.

VDACS received reimbursement approval from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, which provides funding through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).

To be eligible for OCCSP reimbursement funding, organic growers and processors must successfully complete organic certification from a USDA accredited organic certifying agency between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. Reimbursements are limited to a maximum of $500 per category of certification. OCCSP applications are due to VDACS no later than November 1. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until they are depleted.

The OCCSP application is available at www. vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/ organiccostshare.pdf. Applications should include a Commonwealth of Virginia W-9 tax form, a current copy of the applicant’s organic certificate from an accredited certification agency, and a dated, paid itemized invoice from the certification agency detailing the total cost of services rendered.