USDA is allocating $50 million of funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to be set aside for a new Organics Initiative to assist organic farmers and those transitioning to organic. Current organic producers and those transitioning to organic will be eligible to receive contracts for implementing conservation practices and conservation planning under the program, but they’ll have to act fast. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, May 11, 2009.To ensure consideration for assistance from this pool of funds, producers must file an EQIP Organic Initiative application no later than May 29.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is administering the EQIP Organic Initiative. To apply, producers should visit their local NRCS Service Center. Use the NRCS Service Center locator to find the one closest to you - offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs.
Update: The NRCS has created a webpage with information about the Organic Initiative. The site explains the eligibility requirements and provides guidance on how to participate and resources on organic production - www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/organic/
According to the NRCS, the states in the chart below have extended the deadline to apply for the EQIP Organic Initiative past May 29th. States not listed in this chart will still continue to accept applications, but may not be able to fund them in 2009. This chart is continually being updated, so please check back.
Even though your state is not listed here, it still may have extended the deadline for applying to the EQIP Organic Initiative. Call your state NRCS office or visit your state NRCS webpage to find out your state's deadline or any other state specific information. If your state has extended its deadline and is not listed above, please contact Tracy Lerman at (831) 426-6606 x 108 or email@example.com. To find your state NRCS office go to www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/organization/regions.html.
If you have any questions, contact Tracy Lerman, Policy Organizer at (831) 426-6606 x 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.