Funding available to help ag producers, handlers go organic

February 28, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. – Wyoming agriculture producers and handlers interested in going organic may apply now for grants to help offset the costs associated with certification. 


The Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture are offering the Organic Certification Reimbursement program to help producers and handlers become organically certified.


“Organic certification can be a way for producers to add value to their operations in a market where consumers are increasingly interested in how their food is grown,” said Cindy Garretson-Weibel, director of the Agribusiness Division.  “This reimbursement grant may help those producers who have been hesitant to become organically certified due to the cost.”


The grants cover 75 percent of organic certification costs up to $750.  The grant reimburses applicants for expenditures, which must be made before receiving an award.


“In the environment I have my business it’s really crucial to be evolving,” said Stefan Grainda, owner of Jackson Hole Coffee Roasters in Jackson, Wyo.  “People in Jackson are concerned about what they put into their bodies, so for my business it was very important to be USDA certified in order to remain competitive as well as attract new customers.  This program was very easy and straight forward.” 


To qualify for the program a producer or handler must become certified between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012.  Certification must be obtained before applying for the grant. 


The deadline to submit grant applications is Nov. 1, 2012, but applications are being accepted now. 


For more information about the program or to receive an application packet, please contact Terri Barr at 307.777.2807 or terri.barr@wyo.gov.


The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.

Category: Agribusiness, Entrepreneur, Community, Education