On June 1, US Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack unveiled a plan to transform the food system, including extensive investments from production to distribution to consumption. The investments aim to build resilience within supply chains, improve fairness for farmers, make nutritious food more accessible, and increase economic equity for producers and communities historically underserved by the agency.
The plan emphasizes support for regional food systems and organic farming. For example, the framework includes a new $300 million initiative to help farmers transition to organic production and certification.
In addition to this new initiative, organic growers can apply for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which is now receiving applications through October 31, 2022. The Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides assistance to certified organic producers and handlers of up to 50% of their certification costs (not to exceed $500 per operation). There is an accompanying program this year that provides additional funding to cover certification expenses. The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) provides a reimbursement of 25% of certification costs up to $250 per scope. In combination with the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, certified operations can receive a reimbursement of 75% up to $750 per scope. Oregon Tilth provides a good overview of cost-share opportunities and the application process at this link.