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How to be Certified

How to be Certified


Click here to download the What is Organic Certification? Fact Sheet (PDF format) from the USDA.

Steps to Organic Certification in Montana


The Montana Certified Organic Logo


Fill Out Application Forms (Application, System Plan(s), and Land Application)

  • Forms can be found here.

Application, Fees & Deadlines

  • Complete application, sales report, appropriate system plans, land applications and submit, with applicable fees, to the Montana Department of Agriculture by March 15th for Crop Producers and Livestock Producers or by September 15th for Handlers.
  • We can now take debit card/credit card payments over the phone. Please call (406) 444-7804 to make a payment.


  • Respond to any questions regarding your application and supply additional information or documentation if requested.

Record Keeping

  • Establish and maintain necessary records and documentation of purchased materials, production or handling activities and product sales.


  • Schedule on-site inspection.
  • Provide access to all production records and documentation.
  • Provide access to all production or handling sites.


  • Notify the Department immediately of any changes to system plans (intended or unintended).


  • Review certification decision letter and Organic certificate for accuracy.
  • Report any discrepancies to the Department.


Recommended Record Keeping for Producers

  1. Seed Labels and Purchase Invoices or Receipts
  2. Seed Search Documentation (at least 3)
  3. Material Labels for those that are Used – Inoculants, Weed and Pest Control, Soil Amendments, Fertilizers, etc.
  4. Livestock Feed and Supplements Labels and Purchase Invoices/Receipts (if applicable)
  5. Livestock feeding Records (if applicable)
  6. Pasture Management Records (if applicable)
  7. Field Activity records/Field History Records
  8. Planting & Harvest Dates
  9. Yields
  10. Crop Storage Records/Bins
  11. Sales Invoices, Bills of Lading, Scale Tickets
  12. Crop Summary Sheet (from MTDA form for Crop Rotation Records)
  13. Detailed Maps size 8 ½ x 11 Google Color Preferred
  14. Photos as Applicable for Verification

Recommended Record Keeping for Handlers

  1. Receiving Documents for All Ingredients (purchase orders, purchase invoices, freight bill of lading, scale tickets)
  2. Production Records
  3. Recipes or Current Product Profiles
  4. Current Organic Certificates from Ingredient Suppliers
  5. Equipment Clean-out and Purge Logs
  6. Sales Invoices & Bills of Lading
  7. Material Invoices (Cleaning, Packaging Materials etc.)
  8. Ingredient and Final Product Inventory Reports
  9. Shrink Log
  10. Pest Control Log and Labels for Materials used for Pest Control
  11. Detailed Sales by Item Reports of Organic Products





Organic Certification Program
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-7804
E-mail: agrorganic@mt.gov

Fax: (406) 444-9466


Published: June 20, 2011 4:57:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: August 22, 2016 2:53:00 PM MDT