Organic farmers may receive reimbursement for certification

SPRINGFIELD - The cost of federal certification for organic farmers in Illinois will be partially reimbursed, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

On Tuesday, the department announced it will receive $271,800 from the federal government to reimburse organic growers and handlers who receive or renew certification this year.  The reimbursement covers 75 percent of certification costs, up to $750.  The money comes from the USDA's National Organic Certification Cost-Share.

Agriculture Director Bob Flider says growers who want to enter a rapidly growing market for organically grown products will be helped by the funds.

Operators must have current U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification to receive reimbursement.  That means they must have received initial certification or have incurred expenses related to renewal between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.

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