The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced a new pilot program designed to assist farmers transitioning their land or livestock to certified organic status.
The program is the first in the nation to provide an incentive for farmers to work with a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency during the transition period, which typically lasts 36 months.
Certifying agencies visit farms and verify that the farmer's practices comply with federal organic regulations. Other reimbursable costs include soil testing and registration fees to attend an organic education conference.
Farmers transitioning to organic can receive a rebate of 75 percent of eligible costs, with a maximum payment of $750 per year for three years or until achieving organic certification, whichever comes first.