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Organic Initiative FY11

Virginia Organic Initiative
 Documents & Procedures

Applications for the EQIP Organic Initiative are accepted continuously throughout the year to be evaluated, ranked, and prioritized.  The fiscal year 2011 Ranking / Funding period has ended. Contact your local NRCS office to complete an application for FY2012

The Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.  Review our summary of how to become an organic producer.   


 

Useful Links & Documents for Applicants: 

The National Organic Program: www.ams.usda.gov/nop

Virginia Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services: www.vdacs.virginia.gov/marketing/organic.shtml

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service - Organic Certification Fact Sheet (pdf, 67 KB)

 

For FY2011, Virginia has received over $700,000.00 to assist USDA Certified Organic producers, and those wishing to transition to USDA Certified Organic production with addressing their soil, water, and plant resource concerns. Ranking criteria was established based on resource concerns that link to the NOP objectives.

The Initiative provided EQIP conservation payments to:

  • farmers just beginning to transition to certified organic production;
  • farmers already in the process of transitioning to certified organic production;
  • existing certified organic farmers who are transitioning additional acres or herds;
  • existing certified organic farmers who need to adopt additional conservation measures to fully address particular natural resource and environmental concerns;
  • and existing certified organic farmers who want to both transition additional production and adopt additional conservation measures on existing certified organic ground (a combination of the third and fourth bullet point).

SPECIAL FUNDING POOLS

Farmer applications to this special Initiative will be treated as two separate ranking pools, one for transitioning farmers without any current certified organic production, and one for existing certified organic farmers who are either adding new transitional production or adopting new conservation measures on existing organic production. In both cases, those in these special funding pools will be competing only against others in the special pool rather than in the much, much larger general EQIP pool.

As provided by law, there is a $20,000 per year ($80,000 over 6 years) payment limit for applications within this special pool.

Conservation Practices Available and Payment Schedule Rates:  Please see the payment schedules below for which conservation practices are available for either certified organic producers or producers who are in transition to organic production.  Also included are the rates of payment for the listed conservation practices.

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

EQIP Organic Certified Ranking Sheet  (PDF; 39 KB) 

EQIP Organic Transition Ranking Sheet  (PDF; 40 KB) 

EQIP Organic Payment Schedule: General & Historically Underserved  (PDF; 432 KB) 

2011 Organic Initiative Fact Sheet   (PDF; 104 KB)

 

As the Organic Initiative is part of EQIP, applicants must meet USDA's eligibility requirements.  EQIP applicant eligibility is spelled out below:

An applicant is eligible if all of the following are met:

(i)  The applicant is an individual, legal entity, or joint operation.

(ii)  The applicant has an interest in an agricultural operation or is engaged in livestock, agricultural or forestry production as defined in this section. In accordance with 7 CFR Part 1400, an interest in agriculture means the owner or renter of land which includes a farming operation.

(iii)  The land being offered for enrollment in EQIP is used in agricultural, livestock, or forestry production or is capable of growing trees as defined in this section.

(iv)  In order to be considered an agricultural producer there must be an annual minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products being produced, sold, or both from the operation or from the land in which an owner has an interest. If there were reasons beyond the producer’s control (e.g., climatic conditions such as drought) to meet this $1,000 annual minimum, then documentation must verify that the $1,000 minimum has been met 2 of the last 5 years.  The $1,000 threshold may be documented by using crop type acres and livestock numbers collected as part of the conservation planning inventory and estimating associated dollar values from agricultural statistics data reports or other acceptable forms of proof including Internal Revenue Service profit or loss from farming Form 1040, Schedule F or other accounting records certified by a tax preparer that show profit or loss from farm operations.  States may need to supplement this policy based on State and local needs.

(v)  In lieu of documentation of the $1,000 threshold, the inherent value of production may be estimated by using comparable statistical values based on acres planted or number and type of livestock being raised to determine program eligibility. 

(vi)  Producers with nonindustrial private forest land must have an interest in the nonindustrial private forest land or land capable of growing trees.

(vii)  Agricultural producers of nonindustrial private forest land or land capable of growing trees are exempt from the $1,000 requirement.

(viii)  State Conservationists, with advice from the State technical committee, may further define criteria necessary for determining agricultural producer and agricultural production eligibility if appropriate and does not exceed statutory authorities.

Local Contact:
Please contact the District Conservationist in the USDA Service Center nearest the location of your property. 

Virginia Organic Initiative Program Manager: 
Ron Wood
Phone: (804) 278-1660
Email: ron.wood@va.usda.gov
 


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