Well some of you have seen a story that speaks about funds for organic farmers no longer available to Michigan’s organic farmers. I contacted Colleen Collier from MDA to clarify and here is here response, the bottom line is that was a one time only funding that we do not have again, but the 2007 Farm Bill has NOT been signed and if cost share for certification is available will be decided once the bill is signed, so we wait. But with the current text in the 2007 we should receive some money to assist with the cost of certification.
Here is what Colleen indicates.
It appears that the Farm News story is referencing the AMA cost share program. This program is limited to 15 designated States.
Michigan participated in the National cost share program, which is not the same as above. This program was authorized by the 2002 farm bill as a one time fund allotment to be used until exhausted. Original allocations of National program funds to States were based upon estimated number of organic farmers / handlers per State. Subsequent allocations were based upon history of fund use.
Currently the 2007 farm bill includes a provision reauthorizing funds for the National cost share program. As you may know, this farm bill has not been finalized nor signed by the President. Essentially it is "proposed" and not final. What evolves from this process remains uncertain, but another round of funds for the National program is being considered.
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824
For information on organic agriculture production please visit: http://www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu/
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