We’ve started the process of becoming Organically certified by the USDA. I’m beginning to see why so few farms go the trouble of becoming certified. The process seems to be daunting.
We started by doing our due diligence and exploring the USDA’s organic program website. As many of you know I teach broadcast television and website design at the Colorado Media School located in Belmar. I mention this because if I had a student create a website as convoluted as the USDA’s, I’d make them do it again. The document regarding the rules of organic production makes a 56-page pdf file. Finding this material is like pulling teeth, slow and painful. I’ve spent hours at the computer surfing through the content trying to find a comprehensive list of steps to become an organic farm.
I did garner that the first real step was to contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture and talk to the individual that ran the Organic program here in our state. As an alternative, I learned that there were private companies that were certified to approve me and our operation. Good thing, as the representative from the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, informed me that they had stopped taking applications. Apparently, they did not have the manpower to process the applications that they already had. I was told that they might begin taking applications in the future, but they did not have the permission to do so yet.