Farmers discuss organic certification cost share program

4 years 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, April 21 2015 Apr 21, 2015 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 12:50:00 PM CDT April 21, 2015 in News
By: Lina Young, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - While some farmers believe the National Organic Cost Share Program offers incentive for businesses to become certified organic, others aren't so sure the incentives are large enough to overcome the long process involved.

Liz Graznak, owner of Happy Hollow Farm, an organically certified farm in Jamestown, Missouri, said the cost share program is beneficial to organic farmers but doesn't necessarily offer incentives for new farmers to become certified.

"You have to be really invested and know for sure that you're going to be raising food, produce and meat for the long haul. It's too much of a long-term commitment, she said. "Once you've made the decision to become organic, then I would hope that knowing that there's a cost share program out there and that it's available, maybe that would be an incentive to become certified organic."

Graznak said the company she goes through to become certified each year asks for a flat fee, with an additional percentage of the farmer's annual sales. 

"Me, as a small scale vegetable grower in Missouri, I'm not paying the same amount to be certified as like a thousand-acre almond farm in Texas. We all pay the flat fee but the remaining amount is a percentage of our sales," Graznak said.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced in late March that funds were available for the 2015 National Organic Cost Share Program through the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Missouri Department of agriculture announced it received more than $127,000 in funds to reimburse farmers and food processors for organic certifications.

The USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides as much as 75% for the certification expenses, up to $750.

Some farmers don't believe that being certified organic offers additional benefit to their operation. 

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture is not certified organic but does use organic practices in growing their crops. 

Billy Polanski, executive director of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, said it does not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides at his farm. 

"For us, we're right here in the city and we're a very transparent, accessible operation. People can come here and see exactly what we're doing. All of our sales are direct to the consumer. Where organic is really important is where you're not selling directly to your consumer," Polanski said. 

Polanski said organic certification offers grocery stores a third-party verification that their products are organic, something that his operation does not need.

He said, considering the costs and paperwork that go into becoming organically certified, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture does not see an additional benefit to become certified organic. 

"We're not going to get higher prices. It's not going to change our practices. For other growers, there's definitely benefits. But for the types of sales we do, we won't see a benefit," Polanski said. 

Graznak said while the cost share program is helpful for farmers, there's a lot of things that need to change in the food system and in consumers' views of organic food to benefit organic farms in the future. 

For farmers to participate in the program, businesses must obtain or renew their certifications, complete an application and document certification costs before September 30.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - As the weather gets warmer and plants continue to bloom, season allergies will become more of an issue... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:51:00 AM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
In this COVID-19 town hall, KOMU 8's Emily Spain talks with Graham McCaulley about how the ongoing pandemic has affected... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:42:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - For Scott Denson, music is his escape from reality. And, during this global pandemic he knew he wasn't... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:38:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Kansas City Council woman Alissia Canady is running as a Democrat for Missouri lieutenant... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:57:41 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a 2018 law banning public union workers... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:09:59 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson held his daily COVID-19 press conference Tuesday afternoon. At the press conference, he... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:05:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia teen is leading the charge to make face shields for healthcare workers as the nation is... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:01:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
If you are feeling anxious about COVID-19, you're not alone. A new survey from the American Psychiatric Association reveals more... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 3:58:38 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- State lawmakers were originally scheduled to be back at the capitol Jefferson City this week after their spring... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:57:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the first week Columbia Public Schools is delivering meals for students as school is held at... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:50:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
DC —Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley joined a bipartisan group of 121 members of Congress in sending a letter... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:15:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
In this COVID-19 town hall, KOMU 8's Emily Spain talks with Andrew Zumwalt about the stock market's roller coaster ride... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:34:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri Police Department hasn't received any reports of scams related to COVID-19, yet. But in... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:30:31 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Lakota Coffee was broken into Monday night, according to a Facebook post by the company. "We... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:39:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:17:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - On March 1, daily life in Columbia looked a lot different than it does today. People were... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:00:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
TROY (AP) — An eastern Missouri sheriff's department has reached a $2 million settlement with a man who spent more... More >>
1 day ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 8:23:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
9am 46°
10am 50°
11am 54°
12pm 59°