Nature's International Certification Services

News and Newsletters

Nature’s Focus 2022 Fall Newsletter

Check out the latest news from NICS, along with some staff favorite seasonal recipes!

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2022 Organic Cost Share Application Information

Please see below for more information and how to apply for USDA 2022 Organic Cost Share information:

2022 Organic Cost Share Information

Organic Cost Share open to all producers seeking Transitional and Organic Certifications

“OTECP covers:

  • Certification costs for organic producers and handlers (25% up to $250 per category).
  • Eligible expenses for transitional producers, including fees for pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system plan (75% up to $750).
  • Registration fees for educational events (75% up to $200).
  • Soil testing (75% up to $100).

OCCSP covers: 50% or up to $500 per category of certification costs in 2022.

This cost share for certification is available for each of these categories: crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling and State organic program fees.

Producers can receive cost share through both OTECP and OCCSP. Both OTECP and OCCSP cover costs incurred from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.  Producers have until October 31, 2022 to file applications, and FSA will make payments as applications are received.”


NICS has a new space!

Since 2007, NICS has called the house on the hill at 224 State Highway 56 “home.”  Last week, we said farewell as we moved into a new space on the other side of town.  We both outgrew the house yet at the same time downsized our office as remote work is here to stay for many of our staff.  Give us a call to schedule an appointment to come and see us: 608-637-7080

Please note that we also have a new mailing address!

PO Box 312, Viroqua, WI 54665


Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference: 2 Scholarship Admissions Available via Social Media!

Interested in attending a virtual conference this year?  The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference will be taking place virtually this year, February 2-6, 2022.  Check them out on social media via Facebook here:

Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference


There will be 2 Scholarship Admissions available to NICS Certified Clients.  Contact the Conference and let them know who you are, and that you followed the links from our social media accounts!
Let us know by tagging @NICSCert and using the hashtag #NMSFC22

For more information, click HERE

USDA Announces Deadline Extension for OTECP

The USDA has announced and extension of the application deadline for the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP).  The USDA will not be accepting applications until February 4, 2022.

The OTECP is providing pandemic assistance for certification and education expenses incurred for 2020 and 2021, and is available for producers that are certified organic or are transitioning to organic. OTECP builds on the USDA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).


Please Click Here for more information and application instructions.


NICS announces changes to 2022 application deadlines

As NICS continues to improve the services we provide to producers, we have decided to adjust our 2022 paperwork deadlines.  This will allow us to maximize the number of producers we inspect earlier in the season, and help ensure certificates are delivered in a timely fashion.


New paperwork deadlines are staggered depending on the scope(s) requested. If multiple scopes are requested, paperwork is due by the earliest deadline stated below

2/1/2022: Maple syrup operations paperwork due

3/1/2022: Greenhouse operations paperwork due

4/1/2022: Crops, Livestock, and Processor/handler paperwork due

Please contact the office with any questions

USDA: Pandemic Support for Certified Organic and Transitioning Operations

USDA announces they will provide pandemic assistance for the coverage of certification and education expenses to those producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic.  Eligible expenses include application fees, inspection fees, USDA organic certification costs, state organic program fees, and others.  Please see links below for more information.

Full News Release

OTECP Information and Application

Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

For more details, please visit

Organic Cost Share Application

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has announced that the 2021 Organic Cost Share Application through the USDA National Organic Program period is now open .

Certified Organic farms and businesses are eligible for 50% reimbursement-related costs.

Application materials and instructions can be found on the WI DATCP website, or by clicking the newsletter link below.

Deadline to apply is October 31, 2021.

View Newsletter

Survey open to organic producers, those transitioning to organic

The Organic Farming Research Foundation and Organic Seed Alliance are looking for input from certified organic producers and producers transitioning to organic certification through an organic survey. The survey, which opened Feb. 18, is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project seeking to learn more about the challenges and research priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, and those transitioning land to certified organic production.
Survey results will be published in updated versions of OFRF’s National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) report and OSA’s State of Organic Seed (SOS) report, both of which have been invaluable resources for ensuring research funding is relevant and responsive to the needs of organic producers, while also identifying where additional investment is necessary. By collaborating on these surveys, OFRF and OSA hope to reduce survey fatigue and increase grower participation.
The survey for transitioning producers is available at Organic survey
The survey for certified producers is available at Transitioning to organic survey

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It’s Producer Meeting Season!

Greetings! NICS is pleased to announce we will be hosting a number of producer meetings in January and February 2020. These meetings give us a chance to discuss upcoming rule changes, answer questions, assist you with your paperwork, and generally check in with you. NICS staff will be speaking on a variety of topics at some of the meetings this year, and we would love to hear from you soon if you have a specific topic you would like us to address at a meeting near you!

Bring your 2020 update application packet and take advantage of the $50 early bird discount for returning clients. We will bring additional packets with us for any parties who are interested in becoming certified with NICS. So, spread the word to your family members, friends, and neighbors who are interested in transitioning to organic production or becoming certified organic. Everyone is welcome.

Please RSVP by calling the NICS office at 608-637-7080 or email Please note, we may cancel a producer meeting if less than 10 people RSVP.  We hope to see you at a meeting, and look forward to working with you this season.

Check out the Events section of our website for the complete 2020 Producer Meeting schedule.

P.S. You’ll also find the list of conferences NICS will be attending and the details for each.