As many of you know, MCS works with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) to administer the USDA organic cost share rebate for certified producers located in Maine. This long established relationship has been a benefit to producers because MCS provides your certification fee information, and DACF requests the funds from USDA. Ideally, this means that you as the producer don’t need to do anything further to receive your rebate once you pay your annual certification fees in full.
MCS was recently made aware of an issue with the state’s new payment processing system, Maine Pays, and unfortunately around 100 producers were dropped from the check request system that DACF had submitted in November. This issue was discovered by DACF in January. As of today all affected producers have been resubmitted and we’ve heard from DACF that many checks have been issued and mailed.
As a reminder, DACF requires all organic producers who are participating in the cost share rebate program to have a current W-9 on file with the state in order to receive their payment. Any changes to your name, business name or address, etc. require you to send in an updated W-9 form.
Additionally, please keep in mind that every year the USDA Farm Service Agency sends out a notice that the application and funds for the cost share for that year are now open and available. MOFGA certified producers do not need to apply directly with FSA because DACF is requesting the funds based on the information that MCS provides.
We apologize for the inconvenience and delay the issue with the state’s payment system has caused many of you, and we’ll be working closely with DACF this year to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We’ve also agreed to send our first file to the state in April to try and get checks processed and out to you earlier in the year. This is a good reason to pay your fees in full as early as possible, so you can be included in the April file.
Please contact our office if you have any questions, and we hope you have a good and productive year.