March 2015 Newsletter
Carabid Beetles: Your Allies on the Ground
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Carabid Beetles: Your Allies on the Ground
Mary Barbercheck, Dept. of Entomology, Penn State University,
You may not notice them, but hordes of hungry carnivorous insects are keeping pests at bay in your fields. The ground and tiger beetle family (Carabidae) is extremely diverse, with over 2,000 species in North America that, depending on the species, are voracious predators of insects and other arthropods, slugs, and weed seeds in agricultural fields.  While most ground beetle species have functional wings, they spend nearly their entire lives on the ground, devouring prey.  Some can also climb plants in search of prey.
Carabid beetles as a group are considered to be opportunistic feeders that consume a variety of food items; however, the majority of species are primarily predatory, feeding on other insects and related organisms, and slugs, or granivorous, feeding on weed seeds.   These beneficial insects can consume up to their body weight daily. They eat a wide variety of pest organisms including aphids, moth larvae (such as armyworm and cutworm), beetle larvae (such as the corn rootworm, cucumber beetle larvae, and Colorado potato beetle larvae), mites and springtails, and weed seeds. They are also important predators of slugs.   
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Recommendations from the PCO Standards Committee
Membership comments encouraged by April 13, 2015
Dear PCO Certified Members, Operators and Inspectors,
The PCO Standards Committee has developed several policy recommendations for PCO to use for implementing the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations and other standards used in other PCO certification programs. In the letter that was emailed on March 3rd directly to certified members, operators and inspectors, you will find complete descriptions of each recommendation and policy proposal. Your comments are encouraged by April 13, 2015. Based on feedback received by phone, email, and in person at upcoming PCO Membership Meetings, PCO may make minor revisions to the recommendations described in this letter. Ballots will then be mailed for you to cast your vote for the policies that you feel will best ensure the integrity of PCO certification programs. 
Submit your comments by April 13, 2015 in writing or over the phone to Johanna Mirenda, Policy Director 814-777-3026 • 106 School Street, Suite 201, Spring Mills PA 16875 •

Come Join the PCO Team!
Want to work with people committed to ensuring the integrity of organic food production? For a full description of duties and qualifications, visit

Certification Specialist
Pennsylvania Certified Organic announces a job opening for Certification Specialist. The ideal candidate will have education and / or experience in the following areas: familiarity with regulatory compliance and organic certification, knowledge of organic standards and food science/processing. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. Remote consideration will be given to applicants with previous certification experience.
This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary range: $38,000 to $48,000, depending on experience. Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.
Information Technology Specialist
Pennsylvania Certified Organic announces a job opening for an Information Technology (IT) Specialist. The ideal candidate will have education, training and/or experience in the following areas: technology support for office staff and end users, knowledge of Mac workstations and Apple iOS, and familiarity with FileMaker and WordPress. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. 
This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary range: $40,000 to $48,000, depending on experience. Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.
PCO is a growing non-profit organization that works with organic farmers and food producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. PCO provides organic certification services to more than 600 operations and employs 20 office staff and 15 field inspectors.  Our staff is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of organic products in the marketplace. 
Positions will remain open until filled. To apply, please send resume and cover letter to
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March 24
OV/PCO Meeting
Agency on Aging
Mifflintown, PA

March 25
OV/PCO Meeting
Yoder's Country Market
New Holland, PA 

Interested in shipping organic milk?  Do you have questions about how to become certified organic?  Please join Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative and Pennsylvania Certified Organic and discover Organic Valley’s sustainable milk marketing opportunities and learn from PCO how to transition to organic dairying.

Social time will begin at 9:00am and the meeting will start at 9:30am. The events include lunch and snacks and will conclude at 3:00pm.  

For more information on the March meetings please contact OV/CROPP on the Farmer Hotline at 888-809-9297 or Lee Rinehart at PCO at 814-470-9734.

FREE meetings- open to all interested farmers.

For a full listing of events, visit the PCO online calendar.


69 acre certified organic grass fed beef farm. Owners are looking for someone to pick up the soul of this farm and improve on it as only a younger person/s can do.
Included is a 23.5 KW Solar system, a full line of farm machinery, and a closed herd (for 20 years) of 55 beef cattle that have been acclimated,  bred, and thrive on this farm. Third party certifications on this farm are PCO, AWA and AGA. A five bedroom brick/frame house, barn and out buildings are situated on this Central Pennsylvania Conservancy preserved farm. Owner financing as well as mentoring can be negotiated, so that this farm can continue to provide nourishing food to a growing group of loyal customers. Owners make hay on  some 80 acres of certified organic hay fields nearby for winter forage. 
Contact Information: or 717-536-3618

To see the complete classifieds listings or to post an ad, click here

To Advertise
If you would like to place an ad on our Organic Marketplace online classifieds, click here


Member News

A Warm Welcome to Our February New Members

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC
Levi S Stoltzfus 
Jeff Stoltzfus
Nelson's Creamery, LLC
Netherland Bulb Company
Daryl and Glen Weaver
Wayne Mast
Oakshire Naturals, LP
Protein-A Bakery
Samuel Ramer
Abner Stoltzfus
Eli Fisher

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