NCAT’s Gulf States office, in partnership with Quality Certification Services (QCS) of Gainesville, Florida, is offering a series of workshops about organic certification for producers in the Gulf States region. These workshops are intended to enlist new farmers and ranchers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia interested in the National Organic Program (NOP) and help them learn how to become NOP-certified.
According to Gulf States Regional Director Rockiell Woods, one goal of the workshops is to reach and educate new, beginning, minority, and historically underserved farmers to help them with organic and sustainable farming. “We also want to aid farmers in transitioning from conventional farm systems to certified organic and sustainable farming practices,” said Woods.
The workshops will be offered in two parts, with the first workshop covering the basics of organic production and how to get certified organic. The second workshop series will be offered in the spring of 2015 and act as a follow-up for farmers who took part in the first series as well as any others interested in switching to certified organic production. The training team will help any of the workshop participants who want to set up a site inspection on their farms. There will be workshop days in each of the five states to answer questions participants may have, conduct mock inspections, and schedule organic certification inspections.
A complete workshop schedule can be viewed at www.ncat.org/events/.