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Transitioning to Certified Organic


Curious About Going Organic? Let Us Help You Make the Transition!

Are you interested in transitioning to organic, but don't know if it's a good fit for you or your businesses? Do you want to learn more, but are not sure where to start? Transitioning to organic can be both rewarding and challenging, and we at OEFFA are here to help! OEFFA has dedicated transition staff, resources, and services to help guide you through the process step by step.


Phone Assistance: We are happy to talk about your operation, prior land use, transition timeline, and transition questions. If you're confused about something in the Organic System Plan (OSP), we can talk you through it over the phone.

Transitional Verification: Our skilled certification staff can thoroughly review your completed OSP during your transition period to help you prepare for your first year's application to be certified organic. This service costs $250, and $150 of that fee can then be deducted from your first year's application through OEFFA.


On-Farm Readiness Review: Transitional on-farm readiness reviews are offered on a fee-for-service basis for those operators wanting extra assurance that they are on the right track. An OEFFA organic educator with inspection experience will conduct a mock inspection, answer questions, and offer observations and suggestions specific to the farm or business. This is a great way to become more comfortable with the inspection portion of the certification process, gain expert insight into organic practices, and build knowledge of the certification process.

Don't let transition or certification be harder than it needs to be!

Contact Sustainable Agriculture Educator Julia Barton at (614) 359-3180, julia@oeffa.org, or by mail at 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214.



Please read on for a number of other resources to help you transition. We're also glad to send you paper or digital copies of application packets, sample recordkeeping forms, or templates for documenting that your inputs are allowed for use in organic production (even early on in your transition process) so you can get a sense of the requirements, records, and paperwork.


Organic Transition GuideOrganic Transition Guide
This guide will walk you step-by-step through the transition process. It explains the organic standards, methods organic farmers use to produce high quality organic food, and the certification process. Download an electronic version of the guide for free below or purchase a printed copy by phone or mail.

Organic Transition GuideOrganic Transition Workbook
This workbook uses a whole farm planning process to walk you through developing an organic management system, and ultimately an Organic System Plan that will prepare you to apply for certification. Download an electronic version of the workbook for free below or purchase a printed copy by phone or mail.


To download the Transition Guide and Workbook, please answer the following questions as it helps us to better serve you:

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Useful Resources



Organic Transition: A Business Planner

Use this Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) business planner to evaluate if organic certification makes good business sense for your farm or facility.

Iowa State Enterprise Budgets

Use these Iowa State Extension budgets to estimate the cost of transition in organic grain production. Download and plug-in data from your farm into these Excel budget templates.

Organic Certification Made Simple: Bite by Bite

Florida Organic Growers and the National Organic Program have developed a 26 part video series providing a step-by-step overview of organic production requirements and the organic certification process.

NRCS Organic Farming Resources and Handbook

This USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) site includes links to factsheets, webinars, and other resources, including a handbook on NRCS resources for conservation planning on organic and transitioning farms.

EQIP Organic Initiative

This USDA NRCS site includes information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative, which provides assistance to help organic producers plan and implement conservation practices.

Transition to Organic Fact Sheet

This USDA fact sheet provides an overview of organic production requirements and the organic certification process.

Organic Certification Guidelines Q&A

This two page guide developed by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, answers frequently asked questions about the certification process.

GO Organic Checklist

California Certified Organic Farmers has developed a simple, ten step check list for transitioning to certified organic.

Dig Deeper: Transition to Organic

The Rodale Institute describes considerations for transitioning farmers.



Please call the OEFFA Certification office at (614) 262-2022 for more information or download OEFFA's transitional services and resources factsheet here.

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June 2019

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