Organic farmers need help

Organic growers pushing for bill to offset cost of certification

Golden State farmers are pushing for funding for a program that would help organic growers offset the cost of certification.

Though the last two federal Farm Bills included funding for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, which pays up to 75 percent of a grower’s annual certification costs, the extension passed last New Year’s Eve to avoid the “fiscal cliff” did not, according to California News Service.

California leads the nation in organic-produce sales and the number of organic farms, but there is still room for expansion.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last decade, but we’re still at a place where consumer demand for organic products still outpaces supply,” said Brise Tencer, director of policy and programs for California Certified Organic Farmers. “The value of having their costs partially reimbursed is particularly critical for new or smaller farmers.”