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For Immediate Release: September 14, 2005 Contact:

Lynne Richmond

(TRENTON) -- Organic farm certification applications are now available from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) through the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Application packages will be available at a cost of $25, which will be deductible from the certification fee. Application packets include:
· A copy of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations for organic production and handling, 7 CFR Part 205, the National Organic Program; Final Rule;
· the current Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Generic Materials List and Brand Name Products List;
· all necessary forms for organic certification of production (farming) operations.

Any producer selling more than $5,000 worth of product and making an organic claim must be certified. Certification must come from an USDA Accredited Organic Certifier, such as NOFA-NJ.

To request an application packet, growers should send a $25 check or money order made out to NOFA-NJ to: Organic Certification Program, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Marketing and Development, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625, attn: Erich V. Bremer.

The certification and approval process can take three to six months to complete. If a grower intends to sell organic crops in spring of 2006, now is the best time to apply for certification.

NOFA-NJ is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of organic agriculture. More information concerning NOFA-NJ can be found on their website at www.nofanj.org.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is in the process of developing an organic certification program. For additional information concerning organic certification, please contact Mr. Erich Bremer, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, (609) 984-2225 or erich.bremer@ag.state.nj.us.