PCO offers assistance and educational resources to farmers interested in transitioning to organic certification through the Transition Membership Program. The cost of the Transition Membership is $200/year for each year of your transition. The final year of transition, (the year you are eligible for certification), your Transition Membership fee will waive the application processing fee.
The length of the organic transition period varies depending on prior land and livestock management. The National Organic Program Standards are the authority for certifying organic farms in the US.
Any field or farm parcel from which harvested crops are intended to be sold, labeled, or represented as “organic,” must have been managed organically in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.
Land must have had no prohibited substances, as listed in the regulations, applied to it for a period of 3 years immediately preceding harvest of the crop; and have distinct, defined boundaries and buffer zones such as runoff diversions to prevent the unintended application of a prohibited substance to the crop or contact with a prohibited substance applied to adjoining land that is not under organic management.
Livestock products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be from livestock under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or hatching, except that:
Poultry or edible poultry products must be from poultry that has been under continuous organic management beginning no later than the second day of life.
Milk or milk products must be from animals that have been under continuous organic management beginning no later than 1 year prior to the production of the milk or milk products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic.
Crops and forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a dairy farm, that is in the third year of organic management may be consumed by the dairy animals of the farm during the 12-month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk and milk products.