Here are two opportunities that I wanted to be sure you all knew about. Especially with Amy's Kitchen (big organic food processing company; see previous blog post) moving into Greenville, SC and looking to purchase lots of locally grown, certified organic produce, these two federal initatives might be of interest to you:
USDA SEEKING APPLICATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA FOR ORGANIC INITIATIVE
- Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production
- Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period
- Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan (OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP
- Producers must be pursing an organic certification or in compliance with their organic certification The initiative is available for farmers who are certified organic, transitioning to certified organic, or organic exempt according to USDA’s National Organic Program regulations. Farmers can submit applications for the initiative anytime throughout the year. However, NRCS will begin ranking eligible EQIP Organic Initiative applications on February 3, 2012 for possible funding. Applications are ranked based on greatest environmental benefit. For an application to be considered complete for ranking all land and producer eligibility requirements must have been met. Applications that are not complete by the first ranking date will be deferred to the next ranking period, which is anticipated to occur on March 30 and June 1, 2012.