By Michelle Menken, Organic Services Manager
We have been busy finishing the last of this year’s crop and livestock inspections. At the time I’m writing this, mid-September, we have about 25 files left to send out to inspectors and plan to get those out by the end of the month. We will also be working on getting handler files out to inspectors so they can start setting up fall handler inspections.
We also continue working through final reviews and certificates for 2023. If you have received a bill for the inspection, please pay as soon as possible. We do start final reviews on those who have paid first. Let us know if you need a certificate or Letter of Good Standing to make a sale. Remember, if you have a 2022 certificate, it is still valid, and you can make sales using it until you get the 2023 certificate. Certificates are valid until they are surrendered, suspended, or revoked. If you or your buyer have questions about this, contact the office.
The Cost-Share rebate program is now accepting applications. You can apply to get 75 percent of the certification costs back, up to $750 per scope. You can apply through the Minnesota, Wisconsin, or North Dakota departments of agriculture, or through your local FSA office. The rebate is offered on costs paid for certification between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. For more information, visit: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/orgcertcostshare.
Our new staff members, Tessa Parks and Sarah Lindblom, have taken the IOIA (International Organic Inspectors Association) basic inspector training and will be going out on some inspections this fall for additional training. Lauren Martin and Shauna Ilse will be taking the basic processor inspector training at the end of September. We still have to collect more samples and complete more unannounced inspections, so you may see us on your farm yet this fall. We collect samples from 5 percent of our clients each year.
We appreciate your cooperation throughout the year and if you have any questions, please let us know.