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August 31, 2014
Bethel Springs Farm is now certified organic to the USDA's National Organic Program, the national standard.

Bethel Springs Farm is now certified organic to the USDA’s National Organic Program, the national standard.

As of July 28, 2014, Bethel Springs Farm is now certified organic! I have wanted to apply for the certification for some time, and finally did it this year. It felt like an important thing to do. I realize, that for many of you who know and trust me, the organic certification doesn’t make much of a difference. But, for new customers, now you can be assured that I am using organic growing methods. I am certified by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic.

Over the past several years, I have learned about organic certification and how it all works. I would like to share with you some of the things I learned, in case you have wondered about it. Originally, in the 1970’s, organic certification was done by local or regional agencies that each set their own standards for certification. Though the standards may have been very similar, there was no government oversight that made sure there wasn’t a lot of variation in those standards. As the organic sector of agricultural production grew in the 1980’s, the need for a national standard was recognized. In 1990, The Organic Foods Production Act was passed, as the foundation for federal regulation of organic food. As called for in this act, the National Organic Program was developed, which set the standard for organic production, to which all producers are certified. The National Organic Program went into effect in October of 2002. From this point on, to be called organic, a farm/producer must by certified by a third-party certifying agent, approved by the US Department of Agriculture. Though there are many certifying agents, from state departments of agriculture, to non-profits, to for profit agencies, they all certify to the same standard set forth in the National Organic Program.

I chose to be certified by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic. I chose them because of their history with organic certification (since the mid 80’s), their reputation, and their educational and research work. As a part of the certification process, I wrote an Organic Systems Plan, which laid out the practices I use to produce fruit and vegetables. Once this was reviewed, there was an inspection of the farm. The report of the inspector was reviewed, along with any clarifications in the Organic System Plant, and any final issues/questions were resolved before certification was granted. Here is a copy of the organic certificate for Bethel Springs Farm: OTCO_Certificate

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Christie permalink
    August 31, 2014 11:11 pm



  2. Geri Ethen permalink
    September 1, 2014 8:38 am

    I am so pleased with this wonderful news! You are such a superb and caring farmer!

  3. Susan Kipp permalink
    September 1, 2014 3:08 pm

    Congratulations, Michelle! Future blessings to you.

  4. Jorge Lara permalink
    September 2, 2014 11:08 am

    Wo Hoo!

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