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Welcome to OCIA MN #1--- The Minnesota #1 Chapter of OCIA is one of 36 member chapters and 3 Regional offices worldwide. These people have come together to share their vision of organic farming and uphold an organic standard of excellence. OCIA chapters are the grass roots source of crop improvement information, as farmer members meet regularly to share challenges and solutions in all aspects of farming. OCIA certification is a tool for the improvement of organic foods grown in an environmentally beneficial and sustainable production system. As a nonprofit, member-owned certification agency, OCIA is committed to maintaining the high level of organic integrity of its certified services and products. It is also committed to ensuring that its members can access the global market.

Statement of Purpose -- The Organic Crop Improvement Association pledges its dedication to “providing organic crop improvement through professional development of organic farmers and processors, including technical assistance, education information, publications and research”.

Membership Dues and Benefits -- Membership dues are $70.00 per calendar year. Certification Cost will be decided at the Annual General Membership Meeting (AGMM) in February of 2014. Members receive notice of workshops, conferences, seminars and meetings year round. The quarterly chapter newsletter as well as the quarterly OCIA International newsletter (The Communicator) is sent to all members. A subscription to the Organic Broadcaster is given complimentary with your membership dues. Membership also makes one eligible to be involved in the running of the chapter’s affairs by serving on the Board of Directors or being a part of a committee. Chapter members may also become active on the International level in several committee capacities.

Inspection Cost -- The cost for inspection varies accordingly to what the producer requests. 
2013 Inspection costs are as follows:   

  • $235.00  0-350 Acres
  • $285.00 351-1000 Acres
  • $335.00 1001-2000 Acres
  • $375.00  2000 + Acres
  • Livestock, Greenhouse, etc., Inspection Fee(s): Additional Fee is $80.00

* Please note that if the inspector charges more, the producer is responsible to pay the balance.

How long will it take to become certified? -- Upon receiving a packet from our chapter officer, the answer to this question depends on your timeliness in returning the paperwork to the Chapter office. The packet will consist of International Standards, International By-laws, Chapter By-Laws, Chapter Guidelines, Farm/Ranch Questionnaire, Field History and other needed forms. The time frame can be anywhere between 3 weeks to 6 months beginning to end. Please keep in mind that inspectors are set up to begin May 1st and will try to complete all inspections by the end of October. Once all information is received in the chapter office and the inspectors report is on file – the necessary paperwork will be sent onto the International Office for their approval. Upon approval, you will receive your certification via mail. (Note – First time certifiers must go through a final conversion year, one year prior to selling an organic harvest, International Certification Standards 2.3). Please note that this only applies to the OCIA International Certification this excludes the NOP Certification where there is no conversion requirement.

OCIA International is an accredited member of the United States National Organic Program (NOP), ISO Guide 65, the Conseil d'accr←ditation du Qu←bec (CAQ) and the Costa Rica Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).

OCIA can also assist members in verifying their products' compliance to EU/EC 2092/91 regulations and OCIA Japan is authorized to certify organic products to the Japan Agriculture Standards (JAS).

If interested in joining MN Chapter #1 and would like to receive our application packet, (please specify if a livestock questionnaire is also needed), you may contact Chapter Administrator Lorri Ann Hartel @ 218-253-4907 or e-mail at lhartel@prairieagcomm.com, or submit a check for $20.00 and a packet will be mailed to you. (Please note when you submit your membership packet deduct the $20.00 from your membership fee). For education and certification questions, please contact DeEtta Bilek in Aldrich, MN @ 218-445-5475 or e-mail at deebilek@wcta.net.

For more information about Organic Agriculture download the Adobe Acrobat PDF file entitled Facts about Organic Agriculture

OCIA International’s web site is:
www.ocia.org
 

Membership makes a difference