11 Apr 2011
United States Department of Agriculture • Natural Resources Conservation Service
3001 Coolidge Road, Ste. 250, East Lansing, MI 48823 • Phone: 517-324-5270 • www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov
USDA Offers Second Round of Conservation Funding for Organic Producers
LANSING, April 11, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering organic producers another opportunity to receive financial assistance for implementing new conservation measures. The USDA will conduct a second round of 2011 Organic Initiative funding for producers who submit applications by May 20, 2011.
The USDA’s Organic Initiative reserves conservation financial assistance for producers to plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns in ways that are consistent with organic production. Some conservation practices eligible for financial assistance include planting cover crops, establishing integrated pest management plans and implementing nutrient management systems consistent with organic certification standards.
Producers who want to participate in the second Organic Initiative sign-up are urged to begin the application process as soon as possible to meet the application selection deadline. Eligible producers include those certified through USDA’s National Organic Program, those transitioning to certified organic production, and those who meet organic standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000.
Under Organic Initiative contracts, producers receive program payments to help offset the cost of the organic conservation measures they implement. Beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers may be eligible for higher program payments. The program provides up to $20,000 per year per person or legal entity, with a maximum total of $80,000 over six years.
Producers interested in applying for Organic Initiative funding must submit applications through their local NRCS field office. For more information about the USDA Organic Initiative including contact information for local offices, visit the NRCS-Michigan Web site at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.
NRCS is celebrating 75 years helping people help the land. Since 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.