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					F R E Q U E N T LY A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S                     Do I have to be an Oregon resident farmer to be
How long will it take to get my operation certified?               OTCO certified?
The certification process for new applicants can take 8–12         No. Over the years, Oregon Tilth has made its certification
weeks from the date OTCO receives the certification                process available to people in many states and countries.
application and payment. There are several variables that can      Is an OTCO organic certification specific to one industry,
affect this. Factors that can contribute to time delays include:   aspect of agriculture, or product?
farm location, completeness of organic plan and the ability        No. At Oregon Tilth, we recognize the increasing reach and
to demonstrate compliance at the time of inspection.               impact of organic business. We strive to provide for that

                                                                                                                                     Livestock Farms
What is Oregon Tilth’s involvement with the USDA                   growth by offering certification services that include, but
National Organic Program (NOP) Standard?                           are not limited to:
Oregon Tilth is one of the USDA NOP accredited certifiers.             Commercial producers of organic crops and livestock
We certify to the standard of the USDA, following their
                                                                       Processors of organic foods, feed, and fiber
guidelines as our only standard for agricultural products
in the USA. The USDA does not actually have any direct                 Handlers of organic products such as packers, brokers,           ORGANIC CERTIFICATION PROCESS
interaction with you, the producer, so as an accredited                distributors, and wholesalers
certifier, we authorize people to use the USDA label after             Marketers of processed or co-packed organic products
they have undergone the certification process outlined in
                                                                       Restaurants and retailers specializing in organic fare
this brochure.
             Why should I certify my farm USDA Organic?
                                                                   A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M AT I O N
             There are many reasons why you should consider        The OTCO Procedures Manual, Fee Schedule, and the entire
             certifying your farm and/or livestock USDA Organic.   USDA National Organic Standards are available for free—
             The USDA National Organic Standard seal assures       download from the Oregon Tilth website,
consumers that your farm procedures are authentically organic      Additional information can be viewed on the USDA National
and meet the stringent standards set forth by the USDA.            Organic Program website,
To this end, it makes the product that comes from your farm        Our dedicated and knowledgeable Oregon Tilth staff is
more marketable to the consumer or buyer. Also, the measures       available to answer all of your questions and help make your
you take to implement organic agricultural practices should be     certification process a success. Call us Monday through Friday,
recognized, especially as our society becomes increasingly         9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST, 503.378.0690.
aware of the value of buying organic.

                                                        OREGON TILTH
   470 Lancaster Drive NE | Salem, OR 97301 | PH 503.378.0690 | FX 503.378.0809 | |
                                                                                                                 T H E C E R T I F I C AT I O N P R O C E S S                     THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS
                                                                                                                 If you’ve already taken the initiative to make your livestock    §205.236 Origin of Livestock
                                                                                                                 production organic, then we want the certification process       Organic meat animals must be under continuous organic
                                                                                                                 to be easy, straightforward, friendly, and supportive for you.   management from the last third of gestation. Poultry must be
                                                                                                                 The steps below outline the OTCO–certification process.          under continuous organic management beginning no later than

                                                                                                                                                                                  the second day of life. Dairy animals must have been under
                                                                                                                 First, you should note that your APPLICATION for certification
                                                                                                                                                                                  continuous organic management beginning no later than one
                                                                                                                 doubles as your Organic Farm and Livestock Plan, the
                                                                                                                                                                                  year prior to organic milk production. Breeder stock may be
                                                                                                                 foundation of organic certification. The OFP will describe
                                                                                                                                                                                  brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation
                                                                                                                 your record keeping, animals, and healthcare practices, fields
                                                                                                                                                                                  at any time provided that, if such livestock are gestating and
                                                                                                                 and facility, pest- and disease-management practices, and the
                                                                                                                                                                                  the offspring are to be raised as organic livestock, the breeder
                                                                                                                 methods you use to prevent contamination.
                                                                                                                                                                                  stock must be brought onto the facility no later than the last

                                                                                                                 A trained organic INSPECTOR,                                                                    third of gestation.
                                                                                                                 familiar with your type of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 §205.237 Livestock Feed
                                                                                                                 operation, will contact you to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Organic livestock must be fed a
                                                                                                                 schedule your annual inspection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 total feed ration composed of
                                                                                                                 visit. The inspector will examine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 certified organic feed, including
                                                                                                                 each component of the operation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 pasture and forage. Nonsynthetic
                                                                                                                 to verify your Plan is an accurate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 substances and synthetic
                                                                                                                 description of organic standards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 substances allowed under
                                                                                                                 compliance and will summarize
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 §205.603 may be used as feed
                                                                                                                 his or her findings during an exit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 additives and supplements.
                                                                                                                 interview. Inspections typically
                                                                                                                 last 3–5 hours, depending on the                                                                §205.238 Livestock Health
                                                                                                                 complexity of the operation.                                                                    Care Practices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Preventive practices must be the
                                                                                                                 OTCO conducts a REVIEW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 primary practice, Parasiticides
                                                                                                                 of your application and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 may not be used on organic
                                                                                                                 inspector’s report to evaluate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 slaughter animals. Antibiotics

                                                                                                                 compliance with the organic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and hormones are prohibited.
O R GA N I C C E R T I F I CAT I O N                                                                             standards. A summary is
                                                                                                                 presented to the Application
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Health treatments must consist
E N D O R S E Y O U R O R G A N I C P R A C T I C E . VA L I D AT E Y O U R O R G A N I C P R O D U C T.         Review Committee that makes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of nonsynthetic materials or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 synthetic substances as provided
At Oregon Tilth, we’ve been working to promote          to ensure quality throughout a product’s journey         the final certification decision.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 for on the National List under
                                                                                                                 OTCO will then notify you of
and support organic farmers, gardeners, producers,      to the consumer, OTCO provides a system that             the certification decision, which
and consumers since the early seventies and have        combines strict production standards, on-site            may note items that require                                                                      §205.239 Livestock
since played an integral role in helping create the     inspections, and legally binding contracts to protect    clarification or correction prior                                                                Living Conditions
                                                                                                                 to completing certification.                                                                     Organic livestock must have
current USDA Organic Standards. In 1982, we began       the producers and buyers of organic products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  access to the outdoors, shade,
                                                                                                                 Your proposed RESOLUTIONS
offering organic certification to help ensure product   Our farm and livestock certification team has            for any minor points of noncompliance will be promptly
                                                                                                                                                                                  shelter, exercise areas, fresh air, and direct sunlight suitable
                                                                                                                                                                                  to the species, its stage of production, the climate, and the
authenticity and quality, and support our local         extensive experience and expertise in crop and           reviewed by OTCO. Once these are cleared, the operation is
                                                                                                                                                                                  environment, including access to pasture for ruminants.
                                                                                                                 approved for organic certification.
organic advocates in their efforts to expand            livestock production—ensuring excellent customer
                                                                                                                 OTCO will send you a CERTIFICATION contract and                  HOW MUCH WILL CERTIFICATION COST?
sustainable agriculture.                                service. The OTCO program complements Oregon                                                                              Fees for growers, including livestock, are based on gross
                                                                                                                 your organic certificate. Your certificate is a legal document

Today, the Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO)        Tilth’s research, education, and advocacy programs       identifying your farm name and address, category of              income and are determined using fee schedule charts. These
                                                                                                                 certification, and your certified organic products. Your         charts are available from our website or call the OTCO office
program is an internationally recognized symbol of      to further promote and support organic food systems.                                                                      for an estimate of your certification costs. Inspection expenses
                                                                                                                 organic certification remains in effect until surrendered,
organic integrity. The organic-certification process    We invite you to learn more about OTCO, and we           suspended, or revoked.                                           are assessed to operators outside of the state of Oregon.
must cover not only the end product, but also every     commend your efforts to further the organic community.
step of the process from harvest to market. In order