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Organic News

Hail Program Spring Outreach Events in May

Staff will visit Conrad, Lewistown and Circle

Hail Program Spring Outreach Events in May

Staff from the State Hail Program will be visiting areas of the state this spring. We will be available to sell you a current hail policy and to answer any questions or concerns Montana producers have about the Hail Program.

Visit us in these locations:

  • Conrad, Montana on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 10:00 am until 12 noon.  We will be at the Pondera County Courthouse in the EOC conference room.
  • Lewistown, Montana on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  We will be at the Yogo Inn, Kendall Room.
  • Circle, Montana on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.  We will be at the McCone County Fairgrounds, in the Kitchen building.

We look forward to seeing you and serving you close to home.

Jana S Mertens
Technician
Montana Department of Agriculture

MDA Announces Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Awards

Over $1.74 million for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs in March 2018

MDA Announces Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Awards

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture and Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council has awarded over $1.74 million for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs in March 2018. The grants assist counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators in efforts to combat noxious weeds in Montana. 

MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging Montanans to support the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program this tax season by contributing to the voluntary check-off program when filing this year’s income taxes.

 

MDA Organic Certification Program
Phone : (406) 444-7804
E-mail : agrorganic@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Organic Program Goals

The program is an accredited USDA certifier of organic producers and handlers under the USDA National Organic Program.

  1. Provide professional, efficient and objective organic certification services to producers and handlers.
  2. Facilitate the growth and success of organic agriculture in Montana.
  3. Protect consumers by monitoring and enforcing compliance with state and federal laws governing organic production, handling and product labeling.

The program facilitates international marketing of organic products with Canada, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Switzerland.


Resources & Information Links

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) offers resources to make organic certification more accessible, affordable, and attainable. These resources help farms and businesses understand the USDA organic standards, certification process, and inspections in more depth. To receive regular updates from the USDA NOP, subscribe to the USDA Organic Insider.

Webinars

Webinars on the latest in organic farming practices and research are available through eXtension.org, a part of the cooperative university extension system.

Links


Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) offers resources to make organic certification more accessible, affordable, and attainable. These resources help farms and businesses understand the USDA organic standards, certification process, and inspections in more depth. To receive regular updates from the USDA NOP, subscribe to the USDA Organic Insider.

New applicants can apply at anytime, but must be 45 days before harvest, and renewal applications are due on the following dates:

  • Producer Applications are due March 15th
  • Producer Sales Reports are due March 15th
  • Handler Applications are due September 15th
  • Handler Sales Reports are due September 15th

Download applications and reporting forms and find information on additional due dates on the Organic Program Forms page.

USDA Market News provides price, volume, and other related information for commodities and products that have been grown, processed and certified to USDA’s National Organic Program standards.

Find a specific certified organic farm or business, or search for an operation with specific characteristics at the USDA Organic INTEGRITY Database.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced at the end of 2015 that they will extend the organic farmer exemption from conventional commodity checkoffs to ALL organic farmers, effective February 29, 2016. Organic farmers are no longer required to pay into conventional checkoff promotion programs that promote conventional products directly competing with their organic products.

For more information:

 

Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Council

The eight-member Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Committee advises the department on the operation of the state's Organic Certification Program. Under Montana administrative rules, the department director serves on the committee, along with certified organic producers, a certified organic handler, and a consumer representative.

Board Members

Name City Phone Email Term End Qualifications
Ben Thomas, Director Helena (406) 444-3156 agr@mt.gov   Agriculture Director, Statutory Appointment
Allison Harmon Bozeman (406) 994-4133 harmon@montana.edu 8/19/2018 Consumer
Matt Johnson Hinsdale (406) 648-5407 jriorganic@gmail.com 8/19/2018 Producer
Ty O'Connor Broadus (406) 554-3412 oconnorranch@yahoo.com 8/19/2017 Producer/Livestock
Catherine Odden Dutton (406) 463-2410 mocao2410@gmail.com 8/19/2017 At-Large Representative
Karl Sutton Polson (406) 883-0974 freshrootsorganicfarm@gmail.com 8/19/2018 Producer
Mark Smith Lavina (406) 667-2332 mark@aspen-island-ranch.com 8/19/2018 Livestock/Producer
Sam Schmidt Great Falls (800) 548-8554 sam@montanamilling.com 8/19/2019 Handler