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Organic News

Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Over 70 markets throughout Montana; directory available online

Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Helena, Mont. – With Spring weather throughout Montana kicking into high gear, farmers and ranchers are offering fresh, local produce, meats, and value-added foods at Farmers Markets throughout the state. Over 70 Farmers Markets are registered with the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) for the 2018 season and a directory is available online at farmersmarkets.mt.gov. Montana Farmers Markets are community events that are well attended by locals and tourists alike, as many markets host food trucks, activities for kids and families, and craft vendors in addition to local agriculture stands.

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Meeting via conference call - join by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 30th via conference call. Those wishing to join by phone can join the meeting by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894. Those unable to join via their own phone are invited to sit in on the call at the Montana Department of Agriculture (302 N. Roberts) in Conference Room 225.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

What vertebrate animals have damaged your crops?

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking to gather information from lentil growers who have, are or will be suffering damage from vertebrate pests. As part of the MDA’s vertebrate pest program, Department staff gathers information and photos related to certain pests and the damages they cause to certain crops. This information helps the Department develop training materials, which in turn are used to educate producers to help them more easily identify and manage vertebrate pests.

 

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