Are you a farmer who wants to obtain organic certification?
Are you thinking of starting a farm and wondering if organic certification makes sense for you?
This multi-course workshop will guide you through the organic crop and livestock certification process.
We’ll start with an overview of the certification process including a description of what’s allowed, prohibited and restricted under the organic standards. Next we’ll cover how to find a certifying agent and work with them to complete your organic system plan. Finally, we’ll walk through the on-farm organic inspection and your ongoing responsibilities as a certified organic farmer.
This workshop will provide you all the tools you need to have your farm certified organic.
Session 1 – February 24th, 2021
We will delve into a short history of organic farming and its history as an agricultural movement and how it came to be expressed in the process of certification, whose purpose and components will be explored. We will discuss the applicability of the Federal Regulations including what has to be certified, record keeping requirements and allowed and prohibited substances and methods.
Session 2 – March 3rd, 2021
We will cover production and record-keeping requirements and provide you with resources to develop an “Organic System Plan”, a written record of how you will manage your farm. Key components include soil and crop management and protecting the organic integrity of your farm and products. We expect to be joined by several certified organic farmers who will tell their stories and answer your questions.
Session 3 – March 10th, 2021
Our discussion will continue by covering the management of greenhouses and buffers. We’ll delve into record-keeping options and the certification process including farm management during the transition process. A guest from a regional certification agency will join our discussion and answer questions.
Al Johnson farmed & market gardened organically for 12 years and has been an organic inspector for the past 32 years. The original organic certification standards for NOFA-NJ were written around his kitchen table. He is currently the VP of NOFA-NJ and Co-President of the 7-chapter NOFA Interstate Council. He has taught farming and gardening workshops throughout the northeast for many years.