Upcoming Event for Organic Certifiers and Inspectors

We are pleased to let you know about an upcoming event for organic inspectors and certifiers. Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) is partnering with International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) and Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) to offer a 300 Level Advanced Inspector Training:

2a.Cone_Flower.jpegAssessing Biodiversity and Natural Resources on the Farm

Dates: September 20 (evening) - through September 22 (early afternoon)

Training Site:  Deer Creek State Park Conference Center, Mt. Sterling, Ohio

Why should you take this course?

  • You simply cannot find a more dynamic, stimulating continuing education opportunity. Take this training for a refreshing break from writing inspection reports. Re-focus on the real meaning of organic. Learn to look at a farm through new eyes. You need not be experts in plants, insects, animals, or hydrology to effectively inspect and assess to the NOP rule and related guidance concerning natural resources and biodiversity. This training is for everyone who inspects, reviews, or certifies crop or livestock farms. It will give you the skills and the confidence to assess these aspects.
  • To prepare yourself to assess NOP Guidance 5020 -under "Role of Inspectors in Policy and Procedures of the 5020 Guidance", it says: Inspectors must be qualified to assess compliance with 7 CFR § 205.200. More specifically, inspectors must be able to recognize and evaluate areas where: 1) natural resources and biodiversity are already conserved; 2) conservation projects are planned; and 3) improvement is needed. 
  • Our training team brings together a rare combination of deep expertise and practical hands-on learning style.

Trainers include agroecologist Jo Ann Baumgartner and geologist Tony Fleming. Baumgartner is Executive Director of Wild Farm Alliance and a former organic farmer with decades of experience in assessing and bringing biodiversity to farms. Fleming is a longtime natural resources educator, former organic inspector, and IOIA's technical editor, with years of experience in soils, water, natural communities, and their relationships within the larger landscape.

  • Enrollment is limited; the small class size will allow for personalized attention from our trainers.

The training will focus on the basic visual cues and best practices to use, especially in the Midwest region. This one-of-a-kind training features interactive, hands-on, field-based learning at three contrasting farms (certified organic vegetable, livestock, and grain farms are scheduled). The field experience is complemented by in-class exercises and group discussion to help you sharpen your skills in recognizing and interpreting natural resources on the farm while inspecting to the NOP rule and guidance on this crucial topic.

Preparation for the training includes a small selection of essential background readings designed to highlight the history, regulatory requirements, and unique challenges involved in inspecting for natural resources and biodiversity, along with an overview of useful metrics to incorporate into your inspecting or reviewing routine. The Pre-Course Reading List will be familiar to most inspectors. It includes the relevant parts of the NOP Rule and Preamble; NOP Guidance 5020: Natural Resources and Biodiversity; NOP 5020-1 Response to Comments on Natural Resources and Biodiversity; ACA Best Practices for Assessment of Natural Resources and Biodiversity 4.2018; "How to Conserve Biodiversity on the Farm: Actions to Take on a Continuum from Simple to Complex". A robust list of additional resources will be provided.



Deadline to apply: August 17, 2018.

Registration Fees: $750 non IOIA members and $700 members. Group discounts and payment plans are available to ensure this training is affordable to all inspectors!

Don't miss this opportunity!