April 2015 Newsletter
PCO Welcomes New 2015 Board Members
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PCO Welcomes New 2015 Board Members
Organic livestock, crop production and farmer training experts join PCO Advisory Board
Dave Hartman
Penn State Extension
Bloomsburg, PA
Dave was born and raised on a farm in Montour County near where he currently resides. He received a Bachelors Degree in Animal Production and Masters of Agriculture in Grazing/Pasture Science from Penn State in 1985 and 1994, respectively. Dave began working for Penn State Extension in 1985 with a fixed term appointment in Cumberland County. Following that he accepted a position in general agriculture at the Columbia County office of Penn State Extension, where he is still based. His work has included various aspects of field crops, livestock, and 4-H programming. Dave owns a small farm and is currently developing a grass-finished beef enterprise. He and his wife Lisa have two daughters who are both students at Penn State.
Jeff Mattocks
The Fertrell Company
Bainbridge, PA
Jeff has over 20 years’ experience work- ing with the organic and sustainable farming community. He is actively involved in diet formulation for all types of livestock and poultry for organic and sustainable farmers. Jeff also assists and educates farmers with better management practices increasing animal health, productivity and return income from poultry and livestock. The education includes local farmer meetings, speaking at conferences, hosting field days and conducting field trials on controversial feeding methods. Over the past few years Jeff has replicated soy vs. no soy broiler feeding field trials to compare isoflavone levels and growth differences. Field trials have also been conducted on pasture-raised swine. He is always striving to learn and understand more about how to keep poultry and livestock healthy, productive and profitable.
Jeff Moyer
Rodale Institute, PCO-Certified
Kutztown, PA
Jeff Moyer is an expert in organic crop production systems including weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and
use, and facilities design. He has helped countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic or sustainable methods. Jeff has brought a farmer’s perspective and approach to issues in organic agriculture. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board, which assists the USDA Secretary of Agriculture in developing standards for materials to be used in other aspects of implementing the National Organic Program. He is also a member of the Leonardo Academy’s committee on sustainability, board member of Organic Farming Research Foundation, and a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic.
Coach Mark Smallwood
Rodale Institute, PCO-Certified
Kutztown, PA
As Executive Director of Rodale Institute, Coach has focused his efforts on training a new generation of organic farmers. In partnership with Delaware Valley College, the Institute hosts a one-year organic farming certification program designed for military veterans. In addition, Coach began the Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) program at Rodale Institute, which brings fresh, high-quality organic food to underserved communities and provides an intensive training program for new or established farmers. Coach has expanded research efforts at Rodale Institute to explore the connection between soil, food and health. He brought heritage livestock back to Rodale Institute’s 333-acre farm, created a Honeybee Conservancy to train and steward backyard bee keepers, and launched “Your 2 Cents,” a national campaign to support and promote new organic farmers.
Returning board members include include Chris Firestone of DCNR Bureau of Forestry; Cliff Hawbaker of Hamilton Heights Dairy Farm & Emerald Valley Farm; David Johnson of Provident Farms; Brian Magaro, Independent Organic Inspector; Tony Marzolino of Marz Farm; Mat Moore of AgChoice Farm Credit; Cadie Pruss of Ewe Win Farm; Ken Rice of Organic Unlimited; and Charlie White of Penn State University.

Advisory board members serve a 3-year term, with a limit of 2 consecutive terms. Our policies require that no more than half the board members can be PCO-certified (or related in a way that violates the conflict of interest provision in the NOP regulations).
That allows us to have a maximum of 7 certified producers on the board, plus a minimum of 8 others who are independent.

For the non-certified seats, we can invite organic producers who are certified by another agency, someone from Penn State Ag Extension or NRCS, another non-profit ag organization, con- sumer or environmental group, a college, ag supply company, consumer, veterinarian, inspector, etc. Nominations can also be made by PCO members and PCO advisory board members via mail, email, and phone. PCO will solicit nominations in the fall of each year but you can submit a nomination anytime by con- tacting Diana Underwood, Director of Operations, at or 814.422.0251. 

Deadline approaching! Comment Now on Input Materials!

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is seeking public comment on input materials that may be in use by your operation. 200+ materials are under review, including: Ferric Phosphate (slug and snail bait), Methionine (poultry feed), Zinc Sulfate (footbath), ParasiticidesMicroorganisms, Glycerin, and many others. 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.

NOSB Meeting Resources
To Submit Comments (due April 7th at midnight!)

Submit written comments to the NOSB by April 7th online via, 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. All comments must include the docket number AMS-NOP-15-0002 in comment.

To Complete Surveys
Please also 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.

Tips for Writing Comments
Comments should clearly indicate your position on the allowance or prohibition of substances on the list and explain the reasons for your position. You should include relevant information and data to support your position (e.g., scientific, environmental, manufacturing, industry impact information, etc.).  The NOSB bases their decisions on the following criteria. Public comments should focus on whether the substance under review meets or does not meet these criteria.
1) Impact on Humans and the Environment — Is there any evidence the substance(s) may be harmful to human health or the environment?
2) Essentiality & Availability — Is the substance necessary to the handling of the product because of unavailability of wholly natural substitute products, or essential for the handling of an organic product?
3) Compatibility & Consistency — Is the substance’s use consistent and compatible with organic handling practices?
For sunset materials:  Public comments should focus on providing new information about a substance since its last NOSB review. Such information could include research or data that may support a change in the NOSB’s determination for a substance. Public comment should also address the continuing need for a substance or whether the substance is no longer needed or in demand. Your comments should address whether any alternatives have a function and effect equivalent to or better than the allowed substance, and whether you want the substance to be allowed or removed from the National List. Assertions about alternative substances, except for those alternatives that already appear on the National List, should, if possible, include the name and address of the manufacturer of the alternative. Further, your comments should include a copy or the specific source of any supportive literature, which could include product or practice descriptions; performance and test data; reference standards; names and addresses of producers or handlers who have used the alternative under similar conditions and the date of use; and an itemized comparison of the function and effect of the proposed alternative(s) with substance under review.

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April 9
PCO Adopt-a-Highway
Centre Hall, PA
April 12
Philly Farm & Food Fest
Philadelphia, PA
April 16, 23, 30; May 7, 21; Aug 6, 20; Sept 3, 17
4:00 to 7:00 pm
New Organic Vegetable Producers Course
Lehigh County, PA

May 2
Heritage Pastured Pigs
Kutztown, PA
June 2
Farming With Beneficial Insects: Organic Pest Control
Kutztown, PA

June 24
Pastured Swine & Dairy Nutrition
Kutztown, PA
FREE for PCO Transitioning Members!

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 March New Members

Rose Arnt
Stephen J. Beiler
Sahil Bhalla
Marily Breedlove-Giampa
Andrew Buckwalter
Jerry Colabine
Joseph Conklin
Gil Galili
Karsten Haigis
Mark Hansen
Michael Harris
Alvin Z. Horning
Thomas Lee Jackson
Bevan Jones
George Knarich
Gerald Kraybill
Marc Laucks
Nathan Layton
Brian McCreight
Arthur Metzger
Eli C. Miler
Dan Miller
Anthony Oberholtzer
Parvin Patel
Reuben J. Peachey
William Petty
Hannah Reiff
Kevin Swank
Lynn Trizna
Daniel Troyer
Paul Z. Weaver
Joseph Wilson
Menno S. Yoder
David E. Yoder
Ervin Yoder
Martin Zatta
Jonas Zeiset

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