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March 2015 Newsletter
Material Review Upcoming- Organic Stakeholder Input Encouraged!
 
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Upcoming NOSB Meeting & Agenda Items
Public comment deadline is April 7th

The next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, CA. The primary purpose of NOSB meetings is to provide an opportunity for organic stakeholders to give input on proposed NOSB recommendations and discussion items. 

Your feedback is needed by April 7thThe NOSB is reviewing the large majority of fertilizers, pest control products, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations (200+ materials!). The NOSB performs a "sunset" review of each substance on the National List ever five years to determine if the substance should remain on the list. It is critical that NOSB hear from certified farmers and handlers on whether these materials are consistent with and necessary for organic production or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available. These materials may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production!
 
Submit Comments

Submit written comments to the NOSB by April 7th online via Regulations.gov, or by mail to Ms. Michelle Arsenault, Special Assistant, National Organic Standards Board, USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2648–S, Mail Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250–0268. Include docket number AMS-NOP-15-0002 in comment.

Complete Surveys

Please consider completing the following electronic surveys to submit feedback on each individual material under sunset review. Each survey is CONFIDENTIAL and contains about 10 short questions that will take an estimated 5 minutes to complete. Your responses will be compiled with other data from operators all over the country to better understand the use of each material in organic production and handling. Click here to access the surveys and other information.
 


Attention PA Farmers and Supporters of Agriculture,

You are invited to participate in a survey as part of an effort by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) to gather information on the state of sustainable agriculture practices in Pennsylvania. This project was made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). Your responses are confidential and your personal contact information will not be released to the public, nor shared with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (though the PDA will receive a summary of the data received).

We strongly encourage all farmers in Pennsylvania to take part in this survey regardless of the size of your operation, experience level or particular methods employed. The more participants, the more accurate a picture we can paint in regards to land use, farming practices and topics to direct future educational efforts by PASA and our partners.

Even if you are not a farmer, we ask you fill out the first section of the survey so that we can learn a little more about you. The survey will automatically filter out the remaining questions, which are only targeting the primary operator of farms.

Click here for the survey, or copy and past the following address to your URL bar: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K5RFT7X

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Helen Kollar-McArthur (helen@pasafarming.org) or Kristin Hoy (kristin@pasafarming.org).

Sincerely,
The PASA Education Team


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 paorganic.org/jobs
 

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 for the Certification Specialist or Information Technolgoy Specialist job, please send resume and cover letter to Lia@paorganic.org
 
Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest Coordinator
Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) is seeking a FarmFest Coordinator to serve on our Education and Outreach Team. The part time contracted position will be responsible for planning and management, with support from the PCO staff, of the Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest, held annually on the first weekend of August at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall PA. This year’s event is scheduled for Aug 7-8, 2015. PCO is a private non-profit organization that works to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members.

The successful contractor will possess strong organizational and time management skills with demonstrated work experience in event and volunteer management. We seek a highly competent individual with proficiency in soliciting/securing sponsors, vendors, and exhibitors and the use of databases, computer networks, volunteerism, and social media. Please refer to our website at www.farmfest.paorganic.org when completing this proposal.

This contracted position is offered at $3400. We expect the contracted position to fill approximately 10 hours per week and all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and half a day Sunday of the event. To apply for this position, please access the request for proposal form here. The request for proposal form can also be found by visiting the Openings page of the PA Certified Organic website- paorganic.org/jobs
 
FarmFest Administrative Coordinator Intern
This non-paid internship can be taken for credit over the course of the Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 semesters.

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) is seeking a part-time FarmFest Administrative Coordinator Intern who will be responsible for duties associated with successfully running a Summer festival attended by over 3500 people. The intern will perform all duties listed below with support from the PCO staff, to facilitate this year’s FarmFest, held August 7-8 at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall PA. PCO is a private non-profit organization that works to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members. This intern position is based in our Spring Mills, PA office, though flexible, work-from-home hours prior to the festival is permissible. A personal computer and reliable access to Google Docs, as well as attendance at FarmFest in August are required.

The successful intern will possess strong organizational and time management skills with demonstrated work experience in event and volunteer management. We seek a highly competent individual with proficiency in the use of databases, computer networks, volunteerism, and social media.

Position will remain open until filled. Please send RESUME AND COVER LETTER to farmfest@paorganic.org.

FarmFest Event Coordinator Intern
This non-paid internship can be taken for credit over the course of the Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 semesters.

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) is seeking a part-time FarmFest Event Coordinator Intern who will be responsible for duties associated with successfully running a Summer festival attended by over 3500 people. The intern will perform all duties listed below with support from the PCO staff, to facilitate this year’s FarmFest, held August 7-8 at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall PA. PCO is a private non-profit organization that works to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members. This intern position is based in our Spring Mills, PA office, though flexible, work-from-home hours prior to the festival is permissible. A personal computer and reliable access to Google Docs, as well as attendance at FarmFest in August are required.

The successful intern will possess strong organizational and time management skills with demonstrated work experience in event management. We seek a highly competent individual with proficiency in the use of databases, computer networks, volunteerism, and social media.

Position will remain open until filled. Please send RESUME AND COVER LETTER to farmfest@paorganic.org.
Thanks to our E-news Sponsors!

             

To advertise/sponsor, contact april@paorganic.org or visit the advertising page of our website.



Events

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.


Classifieds

FARM FOR SALE
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: jstoltz@pa.net 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



You don’t need to grow organic products to enjoy the benefits of Pennsylvania Certified Organic! 

• Membership in a vital, organic agriculture community
• Invitations to exclusive meetings and workshops
• Fabulous PCO swag
• Beautiful, full-color Photo Calendar
• Organic Matter Quarterly, print and online publication with all the latest news and research
• Monthly e-Newsletter Subscription

We invite you to become a member now!



 
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Our mailing address is:
106 School Street, Suite 201  
Spring Mills, PA 16875  
814-422-0251
www.paorganic.org
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