|(TRENTON) –The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) and the
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey
(NOFA-NJ) are sponsoring three workshops in March
to assist farmers who are seeking organic certification.
Since the certification process can take four to six months, growers
interested in selling organic products in the 2005 growing season will
need to apply soon. Growers who would like to learn more about the
requirements for certification and opportunities in the organic marketplace,
are encouraged to attend one of the three sessions scheduled in Monmouth,
Gloucester and Hunterdon Counties. The sessions are free but pre-registration
The information sessions will be held:
Monday, March 7, 1 to 3 p.m.
Monmouth County Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office
4000 Kozloski Rd.
Freehold, Monmouth County
Friday, March 18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gloucester County Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office
Conference Room C
1200 N. Delsea Dr.
Clayton, Gloucester County
Wednesday, March 23, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Snyder Research and Extension Farm
140 Locust Grove Rd.
Pittstown, Hunterdon County
To register for one of these sessions or for additional information
on organic certification, contact Erich Bremer at the New Jersey Department
of Agriculture at (609) 984-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2002, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Accredited
Certification Agent must certify any organic farmer or market gardener
with annual sales over $5,000. Some farmers markets and most wholesale
buyers also require certification of organic products. Farmers can
choose to certify crops, livestock, or wild-harvested crops in any
Application packets for organic certification are currently available
through the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. To request an application,
growers must send $25 in check or money order (made out to NOFA-NJ)
to Erich Bremer, Supervisor, Organic Certification Program, New Jersey
Department of Agriculture, Division of Marketing and Development, PO
Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. Applications include supporting documents,
such as the USDA regulations for organic production and handling and
the current Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Generic Materials
and Brand Name Products lists.
The certification program is currently operated cooperatively by the
New Jersey Department of Agriculture and NOFA-NJ, a non-profit organization
dedicated to the promotion of organic agriculture that is accredited
as a certification agent by the USDA. More information concerning NOFA-NJ
can be found on their website at www.nofanj.org.