Organic Corner

Photo by Schwoaze from Pixabay.

By Michelle Menken, Organic Services Manager

This has been a busy year for us. We still have a few files to get out to inspectors. We are working with a couple of new inspectors, so we hope next year we will have enough inspectors to get the work out earlier in the year. We have hired new staff here as well and have worked hard to get them trained. They may be doing some inspections for us next year.

Everyone is now working on final reviews and certificates. We have more than 260 certificates done, which means we have a lot left to complete. The certificates this year are being generated out of the USDA’s Organic Integrity Database (OID). They look very different from our old certificates. The list of organic products will be printed on the reverse side, as will the Canadian Equivalency statement. All certifiers will be required to use the OID to generate certificates starting next year. If you need a Letter of Good Standing to make a sale, please contact us.

The conference season will be beginning soon. We will be at the Minnesota Organic Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota, January 11–12, 2024. We will have a booth at the Northern Plains Sustainable Ag conference January 25–27, 2024, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and then we will have a booth at the Marbleseed Organic Farm Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, February 22–24, 2024. Please stop by our booths and meet our new staff members.

We will be mailing out calendars and information about some rule changes soon.

Organic Corner

Image by Jan Mallander from Pixabay.

By Michelle Menken, Organic Services Manager

As fall approaches, we are wrapping up the last crop and livestock inspections. There are about thirty files left to send out to inspectors, and we hope to get those out in the next two weeks. Handler files will be going out to inspectors soon so they can start scheduling fall handler inspections.

We have also been busy working through final reviews and certificates—over one hundred issued so far. If you have received a bill for the inspection, please pay that 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 2021 certificate, it is still valid, and you can make sales using that certificate until you get the 2022 certificate. Certificates are valid until they are surrendered, suspended, or revoked. If you or your buyer have questions about this, contact the office.

Our new staff members, Maddie Barkholtz and Shauna Ilse, have been busy training and we have had them out on some inspections and to an Organic Expo, where we met many MCIA clients. We still have to collect more samples and complete more unannounced inspections, so I plan to get Maddie and Shauna out to more farms and businesses this fall.