Organic Corner

Panelists discussed Opportunities and Challenges for Organic Production at the MCIA Annual Meeting in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, January 12, 2023. From left to right, Cassie Dahl, Ben Hineuber, Jonathan Olson, Craig Tomera, and Michelle Menken. Photo: © Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

By Michelle Menken, Organic Services Manager

We have sent out crop and livestock renewal packets. They were due back March 15 for produce growers and April 1 for crop and livestock operations. We had a booth at the Marbleseed (formerly MOSES) Organic Farming Conference at the end of February. Now everyone is back here working on final reviews to get 2022 finished up.

We are looking for another organic certification specialist/inspector. Interested? Information about the job is posted on the Job Openings page of our website.

This week, the NOP presented a training video on the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE), which is a big rule change that will go into effect in 2024. It will require all brokers to be certified as well as several other parties who are now exempt. Audits will be more important, so expect the inspectors this year to be spending more time reviewing harvest and sales records. Remember, after April 5, 2023, certified organic dairies can no longer purchase or sell as organic dairy animals that were transitioned. Livestock Lists will have to be updated this year to clearly identify all animals on each farm that were transitioned. They can still be used for organic milk production on your own farm, but cannot be sold as organic animals to another organic farm.