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Question regarding Organic farming paperwork and Inspections  RSS feed

 
James Stallman
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Is the paperwork for organic farms really as daunting as that Farmageddon doc makes it out to be?

I'm in the US by the way, Texas, but I'm interested in answers from anyone anywhere. Thank you.

Also, has anyone been harassed by inspectors? Can you share your experiences?
 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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In my experience the paperwork and inspections tend to be really lax. I mean it's a little bit of a pain in the ass. Most farmers I know are not good at keeping records. Several of them (maybe more than several) will go through the books a few days before inspection with a few different pens and basically make shit up. "I think we applied about xyz to 123..."

Site inspections are usually super quick and friendly especially if the inspector has worked with you before. They keep an eye out for obvious issues, but they see a dozen or more spots a week so it's not a fine toothed comb unless they see an obvious reason to grill ya.

Anyway... I've just been on the interning/working end not owner/management but farms tend to be pretty intimate environments and I'm a curious creature so I feel pretty comfortable in my description. I even learned how to do all that stuff officially both in university and extension programs. It's not that hard. It is kinda a pain in the ass.

 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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Also, I think probably the biggest pain in the ass are the 'buffer zones'

These only come into play when you have neighbors who are farming conventionally with lots of gick. But its a pain in the ass even though I totally understand the reasoning behind it.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Certified Organic is like any other bureaucracy: Totally arbitrary and capricious... Some inspectors are more interested in getting to the restaurant for lunch than they are in inspecting the farm. Others are power hungry dweebs intent on causing as much pain as possible to the farmer. And everything in-between depending on the inspector you draw. And each county/state has it's own unique interpretation of the regulations. It's like buying a lottery ticket. No telling ahead of time what the inspector is going to be like.
 
Ray Moses
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Location: Brighton, Michigan
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The first year the paperwork is a lot of work because you have to make maps of all your acreages buffer zones etc. however the following years you can mostly duplicate the paperwork from the previous year just with update. If you were growing everything at one location and you're only getting one certification the paperwork is very simple.
 
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