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2013 EQIP Organic Special Initiative



Organic food sales remain the fastest growing sector in the food industry, swelling by 18 percent in 2007. Organic food sales more than tripled, to $1.7 billion in 2007 from $393 million in 2002, according to USDA’s Agriculture Census.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) provided funding specifically to help organic farmers and those agricultural producers transitioning to organic farming.

Farmers or ranchers who want to apply for financial assistance may receive up to $20,000 per year and are limited to $80,000 over a six-year period under the Organic Initiative.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. The 2013 funding cycle has now closed. Any applications received will be considered in 2014.

How Do I Get Started?

The first step is to visit your local USDA Service Center and speak with the NRCS District Conservationist and complete an application.

Your application may be submitted at your local NRCS field office. You can use the USDA Service Center Locator to find your local NRCS field office or look in your local phone book under federal government.

What Do I Bring with Me?

If you are already certified:
  1. Proof of ownership or control of land.
  2. Your Organic System Plan (OSP). The OSP is administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
If you are transitioning:
  1. Proof of ownership or control of land.
  2. The name of the USDA-accredited certifying agent contacted to begin the organic certification process.
  3. You will be required to submit a self-certification letter to the District Conservationist stating that you “agree to develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an Organic System Plan.”
You will be asked to complete the following documentation:
  • CCC-1200 Conservation Program Application and Appendix to the CCC-1202
  • AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification
  • CCC-901 Member's Information (for entities only)
  • SF-1199 Direct Deposit Form (if your application is funded)

Eligible Practices

  • 138 Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition
  • 314 Brush Management
  • 315 Herbaceous Weed Control
  • 316 Animal Mortality Facility
  • 317 Composting Facility
  • 328 Conservation Crop Rotation
  • 329 Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed
  • 338 Prescribed Burning
  • 340 Cover Crop
  • 342 Critical Area Planting
  • 345 Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till
  • 355 Well Water Testing
  • 362 Diversion
  • 378 Pond
  • 380 Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
  • 382 Fence
  • 386 Field Border
  • 390 Riparian Herbaceous Cover
  • 391 Riparian Forest Buffer
  • 393 Filter Strip
  • 410 Grade Stabilization Structure
  • 412 Grassed Waterway
  • 441 Irrigation System, Micro-irrigation
  • 442 Irrigation System, Sprinkler
  • 443 Irrigation System, Surface and Subsurface
  • 449 Irrigation Water Management
  • 472 Access Control
  • 484 Mulching
  • 511 Forage Harvest Management
  • 512 Forage and Biomass Planting
  • 516 Livestock Pipeline
  • 528 Prescribed Grazing
  • 550 Range Planting
  • 561 Heavy Use Are Protection
  • 574 Spring Development
  • 575 Animal Trails and Walkways
  • 578 Stream Crossing
  • 587 Structure for Water Control
  • 590 Nutrient Management
  • 595 Integrated Pest Management
  • 612 Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • 614 Watering Facility
  • 638 Water and Sediment Control Basin
  • 642 Water Well
  • 650 Windbreak/Shelterbelt Renovation
  • 798 Seasonal High Tunnel System for Crops

For More Information

On other Web sites:

MontGuide MT200901AG "From Conventional to Organic Cropping: What to Expect During the Transition Years" (PDF; 295 KB)

National Organic Program (PDF; 67 KB)


Jerry Schaefer, State Resource Conservationist and Organic Contact
Phone: 406-587-6998
Email: Jerry.Schaefer

Kris Berg, Program Specialist
Phone: 406-587-6849
Email: Kris.Berg

Tim Ouellette, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 406-587-6794
Email: Tim.Ouellette