Organic Farming and Food

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The OCCSP helps organic farmers and processors pay for organic certification. Funding comes from the federal government, and the program is administered through DATCP.

Organic farms and companies t hat sell, process, or package certified organic agricultural products are eligible to receive 75% of certification-related costs incurred, with a maximum of $750 for each category/scope if they meet the following criteria:

  • They received initial or continuation/renewal of certification or are in the process of becoming certified organic to USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards in the appropriate time period, and
  • The certified operation is located in Wisconsin.

Reimbursable certification costs must be receipted by the certifying agency during the period of October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. Reimbursable costs can include any certification related expenses paid to the certifying agency including inspection and user fees. Late fees, membership dues, and penalties are not eligible for reimbursement. Applications should be submitted by October 31, 2023 to guarantee reimbursement.

To apply, fill out the 2023 OCCSP application and return it to the DATCP Organic Cost Share Program by mail, email, or online form (​​​). Supporting documentation can be sent with your application or at a later date via the same or different method. 

New applicants must also return a completed W-9 and a DATCP New Supplier form with their application materials.​

If you are certified in more than one category, you are eligible for up to $750.00 for each category. The four scopes and categories include:​

  • Crop
  • Livestock
  • Wild crop
  • Handler

Funding for this program is provided by and contingent upon funds provided by cooperative agreement between the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

FYI: Published Aug. 10, 2020 in the Federal Register: For FY 2020 through 2023, FSA is revising the reimbursement amount to 50 percent of the certified organic operation's eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. This change is due to the limited a mount of funding available and will allow a larger number of certified organic operations to receive assistance."

​USDA Organic Integrity Database

Are you looking for an organic farm or business? Use the USDA's Organic Integrity Database to find a specific certified organic operation, or search for operations with specific characteristics. 

You can search and filter by many different categories and keywords. For a full list of search criteria, click on the green “advanced search" button. Search criteria include:

  • Certifier
  • Operation name
  • Contact last name
  • Location, such as city, state, and/or county
  • Certification status
  • Scopes (crops, livestock, handling, and/or wild crops)
  • Business type

You can select just one or many different search criteria to narrow down your search results. Once you have completed your search you can download the organic certificates and export the list to an Excel spreadsheet. USDA-Accredited Certifying Agents update this list on a regular basis. Click here for a USDA FAQ on the Organic Integrity Database.

​Origin of Livestock Rule​​​

The USDA enacted the Origin of Livestock (OOL) Rule in 2023. The OOL allows a dairy livestock operation, transitioning to organic or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time and prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy farm is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation. Variances may be requested by small businesses for specific scenarios.

Additional Resources:

Organic Advisory Council

This 12-member council​​ provides guidance to the Secretary of Agriculture, the Governor, the Legislature, and other state agencies on actions that can be taken to further the Wisconsin organic industry.

Organic Consumer Guide

Organic Consumer Guide and other promotional and educational materials that support the growth of organic food production and sales in Wisconsin.​

Organic Cer​tification and Cost Share Program Webinar ​

Presenters from DATCP, FSA, and MOSES share tips on how to become certified organic, apply for cost share reimbursement, and access org​anic learning opportunities. 


Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

A 106-page guide for food producers interested in entering local food markets​


Andrew Bernhardt​
Organic Agriculture Programs Specialist
(608) 572-0512