The Department of Agriculture Tuesday extended the deadline for farmers who are certified organic, or transitioning to organic, to apply for pandemic assistance. The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program helps cover certification and education expenses. The deadline to apply for 2020 and 2021 eligible expenses is now February 4, 2022, rather than the original deadline of January 7, 2022. Certified operations and transitional operations may apply for eligible expenses paid during the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. Signup for the 2022 fiscal year will be announced at a later date. For each year, the program covers 25 percent of a certified operation’s eligible certification expenses, up to $250 per certification category – crop, livestock, wild crop, handling and State Organic Program fee. This includes application fees, inspection fees, USDA organic certification costs, state organic program fees and more. Producers can learn more and apply through their local FSA office.
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