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Organic News

Harvest of the Month: Apples

Recipes and tips for buying and cooking apples in anticipation of Montana Crunch Time on October 24th

Harvest of the Month: Apples

Montana Crunch Time is a statewide event to celebrate National Food Day and National Farm to School Month in Montana by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples on October 24, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. MST.

Get ready by clicking here to check out apple recipes, buying tips, and cooking suggestions from Harvest at Home!

USDA Unveils New Technology for Organic Exports

USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) is working to make it a little easier for certifiers and businesses to export organic products to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Mexico

USDA Unveils New Technology for Organic Exports

The organic industry may now utilize the USDA Electronic Trade Document Exchange System (eTDE) to submit and approve organic export certificates and send them to participating foreign trade partners. Foreign trade partners can electronically review information about shipments leaving the U.S., validate printed export certificates, and pull electronic certificates directly into their own systems.

Click here or contact the Montana Organic Program at to learn more about the eTDE organic option.

Question-and-Answer Conference Call for Growth Through Agriculture Grant Program Applicants

October 23 at 10:00 am MST

Question-and-Answer Conference Call for Growth Through Agriculture Grant Program Applicants

Helena, Mont. – Agriculture businesses and organizations throughout Montana will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer conference call on the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program at 10:00 am MST on October 23rd by calling 406-444-4647, access code: 574988. Once you have entered the access code, just stay on the line when asked for a PIN number - no PIN is required. Then enter your phone number when prompted.

Refer to the GTA page for more info.


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

How to be Certified

  1. Go to the Organic Program Forms page
  2. Fill out the Application Form
  3. Pay the annual application fee
  4. Complete or update your Organic System Plan
  5. The Organic Program reviews submitted forms
  6. Notice of Inspection is sent
  7. Inspections are scheduled annually by the inspector
  8. On-site inspection
  9. Pay inspection fee
  10. Final review of inspection report and documents
  11. Notice of Certification and Organic Certificate sent

Application Deadlines

  • New applicants can apply at any time.
  • Renewals:
    • Producers: Submit application and updates and all fees by March 15.
    • Handlers: Submit application and updates and all fees by September 15.
  • Submissions must be received by those dates to avoid incurring a late fee. Allow 5-7 days for mailing.

If you want to transition to Organic Certification

Ten Steps to Transition Checklist: Written for prospective producers, this checklist outlines 10 steps for transitioning to organic certification. This easy-to-scan handout, in both English and Spanish, introduces new farmers to the certification process. Materials also include sample documents for organizations that want to host their own "Certification Made Simple" Workshops. Produced by USDA AMS with the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Recommended Recordkeeping

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 & Acreage Plan (available on the Forms page) (New & Renewal)
  13. Detailed Maps size 8 ½ x 11 Google Color Preferred
  14. Photos as Applicable for Verification

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 (available on the Forms page)
  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 for Organic Products (available on the Forms page)