SCDA: Funding Available for Organic Certification

COLUMBIA – South Carolina farmers and food processors who want to pursue organic certification may qualify for reimbursement through a grant administered by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and funded by the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

For some producers, organic certification can help reach new customers and align with existing ones.

“This funding enabled our farm to enhance our commitment to delivering premium, eco-friendly vegetables and chicken to our community while furthering our mission to promote environmental stewardship in agriculture,” said Tim Rowe, who manages the Walterboro-area Blue Sky Sunny Day Farm, which received a cost share grant last year.

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program will reimburse producers and handlers of agricultural products up to 75 percent of the operation’s total allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope: crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling (i.e., processing).

In addition, two farm credit associations are supplementing the cost-share funding available under this grant. AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA and ArborOne Farm Credit, ACA have generously offered to supplement the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for South Carolina producers with an additional reimbursement of 25 percent of certification costs up to a maximum of $250 per certification scope.

The deadline to apply for reimbursement this year is December 8, 2023.

SCDA also has five other cost share reimbursement programs available as projects of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. These programs help offset the costs of operating a farm business, including installing cold storage, implementing value-added packaging, marketing at trade shows, and costs associated with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Produce Safety Rule audits.

To apply for reimbursement programs through SCDA, visit