Organic Certification Cost Share Programs


The objective of this program is to provide financial assistance to certified organic producers and handlers.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Farm Service Agency, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
The Agricultural Management Cost Share Program is authorized under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (FICA) as amended., Title 7, Part 36, Section 1501-1524, 7 U.S.C. 1501-1524
The National Cost Share Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 7901 note, as amended by section 10004(c) of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill)., Title 7, Part 94, Section 7901, Public Law 113-79, 7 U.S.C. 7901
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Section 10105, Public Law 115-334
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
State Agencies are eligible to establish an agreement to administer the program within their State. To be eligible for cost share payments, a producer or handler must possess USDA organic certification at the time of application and have paid fees/expenses related to its initial certification or renewal of its certification from a certifying agent. FSA county offices accept applications directly from producers and handlers.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The eligible certified producer/handler receives the OCCSP benefit.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. The USDA will coordinate with State Agencies to determine budgetary allocations.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Organic producers and handlers may apply through their local administrative FSA county office or through a participating State Agency. Producers and handlers must file an application form and supporting documentation showing eligible certification costs by Oct. 31 of the applicable fiscal year. For State Agencies, the submission of a Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) through Grants.Gov and the signing of a grant agreement with FSA is required.
Award Procedure
Allocations are awarded to State Departments of Agriculture or their equivalents based on the number of certified organic operations in the State, as well as the history of participation in the cost share program by certified organic operations in that State. Payments to eligible operations will be calculated as 75 percent of the allowable costs incurred by an eligible operation, not to exceed a maximum of $750 per certification scope.
Producers and handlers who apply through FSA county offices must submit an application by Oct. 31 of the applicable fiscal year. State Agencies that want to administer the program may apply for grant awards during a time period announced by FSA headquarters.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 1 to 15 days.
Appeal regulations set forth in parts 11 and 780 of 7CFR apply to determinations on applications submitted to the Farm Service Agency by certified organic and operations.
Grant agreements last one fiscal year in duration. Pending the availability of funds, State Agencies, may sign a new grant agreement for the ensuing fiscal year or, if applicable, extend existing agreements to provide funding for an additional year. FSA will notify participating State Agencies of the opportunity to extend existing agreements when available. .
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
The Organic Certification Cost Share Programs reimburse eligible producers and handlers for a portion of the costs of organic certification. Applicants may receive reimbursements of up to 75% of the costs of certification, with an annual maximum of $750. State agencies (typically Departments of Agriculture) work with the USDA to administer the program. After entering into a grant agreement, the state agencies process applications for cost share funds from certified organic producers and handlers, and the USDA reimburses them. FSA will also process applications through FSA county offices. Applicants typically submit a one-page application form, along with proof of certification and an itemized invoice, to their State’s department of agriculture or an FSA county office.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
The program requires record of applicant by name, applicants' certification expenses, and the reimbursement paid to the applicants. In accordance with 7 CFR 3016.42, grant recipients should retain all records relating to the grant for a period of three years after the final Federal Financial Report been submitted to the Federal Agency, or until final resolution of any audit finding or litigation, whichever is later. Electronic records retention is acceptable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title 7 Chapter 94 Part 7901 Public Law 113-79 7

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available for each federal fiscal year through 2022. For producers who apply through FSA county offices, assistance is normally provided in a single payment following approval of the application. Participating State Agencies must disburse funds and finalize reports within 120 days after the end of the federal fiscal year. Funds are disbursed upon request, utilizing Standard Form 270, "Request for Advance or Reimbursement." Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Consult the appropriate FSA State office where the property is located. For a list of FSA State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, information is available on the internet, visit FSA website at to locate nearest office.
Headquarters Office
Kay Niner
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: (202) 205-9354
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$9,663,279.00; FY 19 est $13,000,000.00; FY 20 est $13,000,000.00; FY 17$9,624,274.00; FY 15$11,588,000.00; FY 16 est $11,650,000.00; - FY 2019: $1,000,000 available under the AMA $18,493,557 available under the NOCCSP(Project Grants) FY 18 Estimate Not Available FY 19 Estimate Not Available FY 20 Estimate Not Available -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Grant awards to participating State Agencies range from $5,000 to $3,500,000 annually. Payments made to individual producers and handlers range from $37 to $750 per eligible scope(category) of certification annually.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program is announced through press releases, news media, and newsletters. Guidelines and Regulations can be found at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources