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More Ohio Farmers Seek "Organic" Label

April 12, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - More and more organic products are appearing on grocers' shelves, leaving many Ohio farmers to wonder how they can go green. Organic growers produce food without manufactured chemicals, and use practices that emphasize renewable resources and protect the soil, air and water.

Lexie Stoia Pierce is the organic certification program manager at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. She says that despite hard economic times there is solid consumer demand for organic products, which makes organic certification a smart move for many Ohio producers.

"The market is there and it's a great opportunity to take advantage of that, while you're doing something that's beneficial to the environment and to people."

Stoia Pierce says there has been a steady interest in organic farming in Ohio, especially from small operations. To become organically certified, farmers must follow strict production standards and submit a detailed application to an accredited certification organization.

Stoia Pierce says since the certification process is a bit daunting and can be time-consuming, they offer workshops, organic certification guides, and a staff organic educator to help answer questions.

"You want to do research ahead of time and you want to have all these tools available, but at the same time, you almost just have to dive in and have an agency that will support what you are trying to do."

There's more information on the resources of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association available online at
www.oeffa.org

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH