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Organic News

Montana Hay Hotline Available for Producers Affected by Drought

Listings of Hay for Sale Online

Montana Hay Hotline Available for Producers Affected by Drought
Helena, Mont. – With the severe drought conditions affecting many throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture wants to remind folks that the Hay Hotline is available to producers as an online tool to connect buyers and sellers of hay and pasture.

Montana Food Show 2017: Buyer Registration available online

The show will take place on Tuesday October 10, 2017 in Bozeman

Montana Food Show 2017: Buyer Registration available online
Welcome to the Montana Food Show! Join us for our first annual Food and Beverage Tradeshow that will showcase 60 local Montana produce, meat, food, and spirit companies from every corner of our great state. Buyers can now register online (vendor registration coming soon) - click here for more info.

Lt. Governor Cooney to kick off Capitol Square Farmer’s Market

Market officially starts 6/13 and will run 2:30-6:30 every Tuesday

Lt. Governor Cooney to kick off Capitol Square Farmer’s Market

Helena, Mont. – Visitors to the State Capitol, state employees and local food lovers now have another opportunity to pick up fresh, local produce, Made in Montana products, and other goods during the week. The Capitol Square Farmer’s Market, sponsored by the state Departments of Agriculture and Administration, will officially start Tuesday June 13th from 2:30-6:30 pm in the Capitol south oval parking lot. Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will help kick things off by distributing reusable grocery bags to the first 50 attendees. 

 

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

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.

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.

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.

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:

 

Organic Program Goals

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

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

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

Resources

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.

Online Resources

Education

Check back, more organic education information coming soon! Please contact the MDA Organic Program for information or assistance.