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Home > National Organic Program
Welcome to the National Organic Program
Since 2001, the Division of Plant Industry has had cooperative agreements with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to serve as the contact agency for distributing federal cost share reimbursement funds to organic producers and processors who meet the standards of the National Organic Program. The Division has been able to reimburse up to 75% of an operator’s organic certification costs up to a maximum of $500, and starting in 2009 the limit has been raised to $750.
The Division does not have staff to certify organic operations but instead relies primarily on MOFGA Certification Services, LLC to provide these services. Growers interested in becoming certified may contact them directly at MOFGA Certification, LLC to become enrolled in their program. The Division has also reimbursed a few growers who became certified by Bay State Organic Certifiers in Winchendon, Massachusetts or Pro-Cert Organic Systems in Chambray, Ontario.
Each September, the accredited certifying agents provide the Division of Plant Industry with a list of the growers who have received their services and the amount of money they paid to become certified organic producers or processors. The Division’s staff calculates the amount of funds each person is eligible for and checks to see if they are already entered into the State of Maine’s Electronic Payment system. If so, the Division requests that a check be cut and mailed to that individual. If the person is not in the system, a Vendor Form is mailed to them so they may complete and return it to the Division office. This delays payment so any person who anticipates becoming certified should either request a vendor form in advance or make arrangements to fill one out on line.
In 2011, The Division reimbursed 331 producers a total of $164,812 at an average of $499.43 per farm. During the same time period, the division reimbursed 29 processors a total of $17,276.50 at an average of $595.74 per operation.
If you have any questions about the National Organic Program, please call (207) 287-3891.
Updated: March 5, 2013
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