Grant programs are available on private, local, state and federal levels. Grants are typically available for only short periods of time and often for very specific activities.
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Organic crop and livestock producers in the state of Pennsylvania can be reimbursed for a percentage of their certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).
Organic crop and livestock producers in various states, including the state of Pennsylvania, can be reimbursed as much as 75 percent of their certification costs from October 1 through September 31 of the current year, up to a maximum of $750. Following is information on how to apply for an OCCSP reimbursement:
- Contact your State’s department of agriculture (or its equivalent) for an application(see Pennsylvania's application below).
- Assemble the following supporting documentation: proof of USDA organic certification, itemized invoice showing expenses paid for certification
Cost Share Letter - 2019 CSY
Cost Share Application - 2019 CSY
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) / Good Handling Practices (GHP) Cost Share Program
This program provides direct financial support through cost sharing of applicable certification fees to producers and processors who successfully complete a USDA GAP or GHP audit.
Any business or individual located in Pennsylvania that successfully completes one initial USDA (GAP) or (GHP) audit is eligible to apply.
The cost share program is designed to help defray some of the costs related to a successful audit.
Specialty Crops Grant Program
Each state that submits an application is reviewed and approved by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is to receive at least an amount that is equal to the higher of $100,000, or 1/3 of 1 percent of the total amount of funding made available for the fiscal year. In addition, AMS will allocate the remainder of the grant funds based on the value of specialty crop production in each state in relation to the national value of specialty crop production using the latest available cash receipt data.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture procedures for grant selection are posted on the Specialty Crop link. In accordance with USDA-AMS suggested method for proposal selection; a competitive process is embraced and overseen by an appointed Advisory Board.
Eligible Applicants and Projects
State and/or local organizations, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply. SCBGP-FB grant funds will be awarded for projects of up to 2 years duration. Examples of projects aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to: Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops; participation of industry representatives at meetings of international standard setting bodies in which the U.S. government participates; improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chains in developing “Good Agricultural Practices”, “Good Handling Practices”, “Good Manufacturing Practices”, and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors; investing in specialty crop research, including organic research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes; enhancing food safety; developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and sustainability. SCBGP-FB funds shall be used for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. Projects must enhance specialty crop industry competitiveness. Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. For more information please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's website.