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Organic Corner

By Michelle Menken, Organic Services Manager

Photo by mariuszople from Pixabay.

This has been a really busy start to the year for us. Three big rule changes occurred, which means we must do staff training and update most of our forms.

The first change is the dairy transition rule, which went into effect last year. You can now only transition a dairy one time and transitioned dairy animals can only be used for milk production on your own farm. They cannot be sold as organic.

The second change is the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standard (OLPS), which sets standards for livestock housing, outdoor access, and stocking density rates—indoors and out. It is primarily for poultry and hogs. OLPS requires ammonia levels to be kept below 20 ppm in poultry barns. So, expect inspectors to do testing in some barns this year.

The final rule change is Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). Every operation is now required to have a Fraud Prevention Plan (FPP) as part of their organic system plan. We have created an FPP form and information sheet that has gone out with renewal packets to all crop and livestock producers. If you did not get the FPP form, please contact the office. We will contact handlers individually to send them FPP forms.

We will mail 2024 crop and livestock renewal applications by the end of this week. We have some 2023 files left to finish and certificates to issue, so not all renewal packets will include a Certification Decision Letter.

We are currently seeking additional employees and plan to do interviewing soon. I think we have some good potential candidates. However, if you or someone you know might be interested, please visit the Job Openings page of the MCIA website: