Bob, thank you for your excellent article on the decisions local farmers face when deciding whether to certify. As you pointed out, certification can be time-consuming and may not make sense based on an individual farmer's business model. And it may not be as robust a standard as many would like.
Unfortunately, one consequence of choosing not to certify is, to the wider world, that farm is still considered a conventional farm, growing conventional crops on conventional ground. At a national level, for many reasons including those you pointed out, many farmers who are using mostly organic practices are not certifying. This makes it look as if there are fewer organic operations and less organic acreage out there. This makes universities less likely to conduct research for organic farmers; it makes seed companies less likely to develop varieties for organic agriculture; and it makes our government less concerned about protecting organic farmers from threats like GMO contamination or pesticide drift. It is not fair to ask farmers, who work so hard to supply us with good food, to certify just for political reasons. It is just a pity that we can't find a better way to make certification a more viable option, and thereby increase the voice of organic agriculture.
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In Print This Week:
Apr 20, 2017
vol XXVIII issue 16
North Coast Journal
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