These resources provide information on organic certification, organic sourcing, and additional labeling options.
Learn More about the OFPA, the NOP and Organics
Organic Food Production Act: Details of the OFPA legislation from the Agricultural Marketing Service.
National Organic Standards Board: See who is on the National Organic Standards Board and read about their committee assignments:
Organic Certification History: Learn more about the history of organics and the creation of the certification from the Kerr Center.
NOP Final Rule: Peruse the most up-to-date NOP Final Rule in the Federal Register.
Additional Guides to Organic Certification
NOP Short Guide: The NOP has an 8-page document called “Five Steps to Organic Certification” outlining overall procedures.
ATTRA Organic Certification Guides: ATTRA has a host of publications for organic certification. Four that stand out are:
- “Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products”
- “Guide for Organic Crop Producers”
- “Organic Standards for Crop Production: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations”
- “Organic System Plans: Market Farms and Greenhouses”
White Paper on Commercial Fertilizers, Pesticides and Synthetic Substances: Published by the University of Hawaii, entitled “The Allowed Use of Commercial Fertilizers, Pesticides, and Synthetic Substances on U.S. Farms Under the USDA National Organic Program.”
Finding a Certifying Agency
NOP Certifying Agents List: The NOP lists all certifying agents who have recently certified in your state.
Record-Keeping Forms and Templates
ATTRA Documentation Forms: ATTRA’s “Organic Market Farm Documentation Forms” offers a comprehensive list of templates.
North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: NCSU has empty templates in Microsoft Word that can be downloaded and modified to fit your operation, as well as samples already filled in to give you an idea of how to use them.
Rodale System Plans: Rodale’s electronic Organic System Plan allows you to fill out your own plan online.
Sourcing Organic Vegetable Seeds (listed in alphabetical order)
AOSCA Organic Seed Finder: A searchable database listing organic seeds by crop, variety, and the seed company offering them.
Family Farmers Seed Cooperative: Oregon. New initiative. Limited selection, but should be supported.
Fedco Seeds: Maine. Good selection of organic seeds.
FindOrganicSeed.ca: The seed directory of the Canadian Organic Growers.
Harris Seeds: New York. Limited selection of organic seeds.
High Mowing Seeds: Vermont. All organic seed company. Their catalog is a must for all organic growers.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds: Maine. A great selection of organic seed.
Morgan County Seed: Missouri. Some organic seeds. Good prices.
Osborne Seed Company: Washington. Good selection of organic seeds.
Seed Savers Exchange: Iowa. Good selection of organic OP and heirloom seeds. Small quantities.
Seeds of Change: California. All organic seed company. Limited quantities.
Seeds of Italy: Kansas-distributor. Some organic seeds. Small quantities.
Seedway: New York. Limited organic varieties, but those they have are good.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: Virginia. Good selection of organic OP varieties.
Territorial Seed Company: Oregon. Limited selection of organic varieties.
Cover Crop Seeds (BULK ONLY—listed in alphabetical order)
American Organic: Illinois. Good selection.
Fedco Seeds: Maine. Good selection.
High Mowing Seeds: Vermont. Limited selection of cover crop seeds.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds: Maine. Some organic seed.
Lakeview Organic Grain: New York. Good selection, and good prices.
Peaceful Valley: California. Some organic seed.
Seven Springs Farm: Virginia. Good selection, and good prices.
Welter Seed and Honey: Iowa. Great selection of organic seeds. Excellent prices.
Wood Prairie Farm: Maine.
Transplants (COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES ONLY—listed in alphabetical order)
Deep Grass Nursery: Delaware.
Headstart Nursery: California.
Windcrest Farm: North Carolina.
Potatoes and Garlic (COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES ONLY—listed by crop)
Lockhart Seed: California. (209) 466-4401. Organic potatoes. Great prices. Limited selection. (50 pounds or more only)
New Sprout Organic Farms: North Carolina. Good selection of organic potatoes.
The Potato Garden: Colorado. Great selection of organic potatoes. (50 pounds or more only)
Wood Prairie Farm: Maine. Great selection of organic potatoes.
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds: Washington. Good selection of organic potatoes and garlic.
Maine Potato Lady: Maine. Great selection of organic potatoes and garlic. Good prices.
Filaree Garlic Farm: Washington. Garlic
Great Northern Garlic: Washington. Garlic
Green Mountain Garlic: Vermont. Garlic
Grey Duck Garlic: Washington. Garlic
Honey Hill Farm: New York. Garlic
Hood River Garlic: Oregon. Garlic
Keene Organics: Wisconsin. Garlic
Organic Garlic Seed Farm: Oregon. Garlic
Strawhat Farm: Colorado. Garlic
Whistling Duck Farm: Oregon. Garlic
Amendments, Fertilizers, Pesticides
If a product has the OMRI seal (Organic Materials Review Institute), it has been reviewed and approved for use by certified organic farms following the NOP standards (though not all products permitted for use by the NOP will have an OMRI seal. If in doubt about an input, always ask your certifier).
OMRI maintains a database of all OMRI approved substances. If you know what you want to use but don’t know if it is approved, your best bet is to sort through the products, suppliers, and/or categories of inputs. Download the complete OMRI list here.
Arbico Organics: Arizona. Good selection of organic growing supplies.
Fedco Seeds: Maine.
Johnny’s Seeds: Maine. Limited selection.
OrganicInputs.ca: Canada’s national directory for organic inputs.
Peacefully Valley: California. Great selection.
Seven Springs Farm: Virginia. Good selection.
Additional Labeling Options
“Food Justice Certified”: Addresses social issues through the Agricultural Justice Project.
“Certified Naturally Grown“: Offers peer-reviewed certification based on the NOP standards.
“Demeter Certified Biodynamic”: Can do your NOP certification at the same time for no extra charge.
“Food Alliance Certification”: Looks at social and environmental sustainability standards, but may not be as strict as the NOP with regards to product applications.
“Certified Wildlife Habitat”: Signs are available for a fee through the National Wildlife Federation for voluntary efforts to foster habitat.
“United Farm Workers”: Provides a label for farms whose workers are under UFW contract (only available in California).