The U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) will present pandemic help to cowl certification and schooling bills to agricultural producers who’re licensed natural or transitioning to natural. USDA will make $20 million accessible via the brand new Natural and Transitional Schooling and Certification Program (OTECP) as a part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Help for Producers initiative, which offers new, broader and extra equitable alternatives for farmers, ranchers and producers.
Making use of for Help
Signup for 2020 and 2021 OTECP started on Nov. 8, 2021 and ends February 4, 2022. Producers apply via their native Farm Service Company (FSA) workplace and may acquire one-on-one assist with purposes by calling 877-508-8364. Go to farmers.gov/otecp to be taught extra.
OTECP funding is offered via the Coronavirus Help, Reduction, and Financial Safety Act (CARES Act). Licensed operations and transitional operations could apply for OTECP for eligible bills paid throughout the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. For every year, OTECP covers 25% of a licensed operation’s eligible certification bills, as much as $250 per certification class (crop, livestock, wild crop, dealing with and State Natural Program price). This consists of software charges, inspection charges, USDA natural certification prices, state natural program charges and extra.
Crop and livestock operations transitioning to natural manufacturing could also be eligible for 75% of a transitional operation’s eligible bills, as much as $750, for every year. This consists of charges charged by a certifying agent or marketing consultant for pre-certification inspections and improvement of an natural system plan.
For each licensed operations and transitional operations, OTECP covers 75% of the registration charges, as much as $200, per 12 months, for academic occasions that embody content material associated to natural manufacturing and dealing with so as to help operations in growing their information of manufacturing and advertising practices that may enhance their operations, improve resilience and develop accessible advertising alternatives. Moreover, each licensed and transitional operations could also be eligible for 75% of the expense of soil testing required beneath the Nationwide Natural Program (NOP) to doc micronutrient deficiency, to not exceed $100 per 12 months.