Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blogging from SARE Day 2 News: Online Organic Training Manuals

I get a lot of phone calls and emails from producers that are interested in transitioning into organic agriculture, but don’t know where to start.

I’ve found there are many, many resources out there on this very topic, so instead of re-inventing the wheel…which happens a lot of the time…the Missouri Department of Agriculture is working to build partnerships with a variety of associations, organizations and other state agencies.

When I first started this position in June there were a lot of farmers’ market vendors that wanted info about becoming certified organic. I pulled many resources from many different places, depending on what type of products the farmer raised. Which can sometimes get a little overwhelming…but today after the first breakout session of the day at the SARE Conference I listened to speakers talk about some different training manuals available that might just make my job much easier, while at the same time providing the resources to educate producers on organic agriculture and provide our Missouri farmers the best training available.

The National Organic Standards Training Materials: Participant's Manual can be found online from the University of Florida and provides agricultural service providers with enough knowledge to answer questions regarding the National Organic Standards of the USDA's National Organic Program. The development of the modules was accomplished through the contributions of individuals from the University of Florida, University of the Virgin Islands and Kentucky State University.

Also, check out the Advanced Training in Organic Agriculture Resources from the Northeast Region of SARE.

As organic agriculture continues to grow in popularity, there is an ever-increasing need for agricultural professionals to be better-versed in organic production and certification to provide support to interested farmers. These are just a few resources out there to help fill the education need for organic agriculture.

1 comment:

James R. Smith said...

This are the type of manuals we need to have access to in Missouri for how to become certified organic.

Great information, thanks.