I constantly hear a lot of misinformation thrown around about organic farming, so I am going to do a series on organic farming myths. This will be a great time for you to ask questions about organic farming too. Do we use chemicals? Do we let our animals suffer? Can organic farmers use GMOs? etc, etc.
Today, I am going to start simple.
How long does it take for a farm to be certified organic?
When a farmer starts his or her journey to becoming certified organic they must complete a transition period. The transition period is an allotted time that a farmer much use ALL USDA National Organic Program (NOP) rules and regulations before the farm can be certified organic.
Livestock= slightly more complicated. You can read the entire Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Title 7 Part 205.236 (but you won’t so I will summarize). On a dairy farm, the dairy animals are certified organic after a one year transition period. Any calves born to those animals are automatically organic.
Does that make sense? Let me know if it doesn’t and I will try to clear up the mud.
Transition periods are monitored by a third party certifying agency. We use MOSA. Also, even though farmers can chose different third-party certifying agencies, all farmers must follow the same rules. The rules do not change from region to region nor from certifier to certifier.
I hope that clears the air on that myth. I have seen/heard people post/say that it takes 5, 10, 0, etc years to transition to organic. Now you know the rules.
I am sure you have questions, so please post them and I will try to answer them the best I can.
Make sure to subscribe to our blog (upper left hand corner). Next week I will tackle the myth: Organic Farmers Can Still Use Chemicals