Florida Cost Share Program
Sharing the costs of USDA Organic Certification
The Florida Cost Share Program is a part of the national cost share program. It was designed to reduce the cost of organic certification in accordance with the Agricultural Marketing Service’s goal of strengthening market support for U.S. agriculture.
All farmers, ranchers and handlers who have received organic certification or a renewal of certification from an accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012 are eligible to participate. In order to participate in Florida’s cost share program, eligible applicants must submit a short application form, a completed W9, proof of organic certification and an itemized invoice to:
Florida Organic Growers
Attention: Cost Share Department
PO Box 12311 Gainesville, FL 32604
For additional information or if you have questions please call 352-377-6345 or refer to the FAQ below.
What is the Cost Share Program?
How much money will I be reimbursed for?
I have multiple organic certifications; can I only be reimbursed for one?
This is the first year my farm/operation will be organic certified and I’ve already paid fees for my certification, but have not had my inspection yet. Can I apply for reimbursement?
My farm/operation is being re-certified this year. When can I apply for reimbursement?
Can I apply for reimbursement if a new or small organic certifier certifies me?
What is the application process for a first-time applicant?
What is the application process for renewal applicants?
I’ve applied for reimbursement in previous years and didn’t have to attach a W-9 form before. Why do I have to do this now?
I have previously submitted a W-9 form to the Florida Department of Agriculture. Do I need to send a W-9 form each year?
I have one of your old application forms. Can I pencil in the current dates and use it?
Can I attach a copy of my cancelled check as proof of payment?
What other documentation is required along with my application form and W-9?
Can inspection fees be included in my reimbursement request?
What are considered allowable and unallowable certification costs?
My certification fees were $2,500 and I requested 75% reimbursement of $1,500 but I only received $750.
Will you run out of funds before my certification renewal is completed?
How long will it take to receive reimbursement?
The Organic Cost Share Reimbursement program provides reimbursement to growers, processors and handlers who obtain organic certification from USDA accredited certifiers (certifying to National Organic Program standards). The program was approved by Congress and funds made available through the USDA to applicant states.
Florida producers or handlers who have incurred eligible costs to be certified by USDA accredited certifiers between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012 are eligible to receive reimbursement for 75% of their certification fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or category of certification, per year.
The NOP currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock and processing/handling. Operations may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification. In Florida, we require one application be filled out and submitted per certification type.
No, you must wait until your certification process is completed and you have proof of your certification from your certifier.
You may apply for reimbursement once per year for all certification expenses incurred from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 or once you are eligible for the maximum reimbursement.
Any certifications done by a USDA accredited certifier are eligible.
Once you receive proof of certification from an accredited certifying agent, you may complete the application form, W-9 form, submit a copy of your itemized fee invoice and a copy of your certification and apply for reimbursement.
If you have been previously certified and are in good standing with USDA you may complete the application form, W-9 form and submit a copy of your itemized fee invoice and apply for reimbursement.
Reporting requirements have changed.
Yes, this keeps the information updated and is required for the reimbursement process.
If possible, please complete a current application form and W-9 form.
No, please submit a copy of your itemized invoice for certification related expenses. See below for a list of eligible expenses.
- Application Fees
- Inspection Fees
- Travel/Per Diem for inspectors
Please note, late fees and inspections due to revoked certifications are ineligible.
If newly certified or submitting a first time request for reimbursement, you must provide a copy of your itemized fee invoice AND proof of completing the certification. Subsequent year requests: submit a copy of your itemized fee invoice.
Yes, all allowable fees that are part of your regular certification process should be included. Late fees to your certifier are not eligible for reimbursement.
See list below. This list is meant to be demonstrative, not exhaustive. If you have questions, please contact us.
- Application fees
- Inspections costs
- First-time USDA National Organic Program certification fees
- Travel costs/per diem for organic inspectors
- User fees/sales assessments
- Late fees
- Inspections due to violations of NOP regulations
- Any charges related to certifications other than USDA certified organic
- Transitional certifications
- Materials and supplies
The maximum amount you may receive is $750 per certificate or category of certification, per year.
We process completed eligible applications on a first-come-first-serve basis so there are no guarantees.
Please allow 4-6 weeks to process your complete application and receive your check. Note: your reimbursement will be delayed if the application is missing documentation.