Tri-State Organic Certification and Conservation Planning Cross-Training

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $86,137.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Chris Schreiner
Oregon Tilth

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, potatoes, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: apples, berries (other), berries (blueberries), berries (cranberries), grapes, melons, peaches, pears, berries (strawberries)
  • Animals: bovine, goats
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, feed formulation, free-range, feed rations, herbal medicines, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, preventive practices, probiotics, grazing - rotational, watering systems
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, mentoring, networking, study circle, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, risk management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, hedges - grass, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, hedgerows, indicators, riparian buffers, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, botanical pesticides, competition, compost extracts, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, mating disruption, physical control, mulching - plastic, cultivation, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation, trap crops, traps, mulching - vegetative, weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, composting, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, sustainability measures


    This project delivers training sessions and tools to help natural resource professionals align the different guidance and technical standards provided to organic producers. Traditionally, producers seeking conservation assistance through USDA Farm Bill programs receive guidance from professionals schooled in USDA NRCS standards. Producers seeking organic certification through USDA’s National Organic Program must meet a different set of standards with guidance from other sources. This project helps professionals identify discrepancies between the standards and recommendations for traditional and organic growers. It also brings professionals together to develop successful organic versions of conservation practices that currently pose a challenge for organic certification.

    Project objectives:

    The audience for this project includes: organic inspectors, organic certification professionals, conservation planners (from NRCS, conservation districts and Tribes), and conservation managers. In the four field training sessions to be held, it is assumed that approximately 30 individuals will attend each session, for a total of 120 participants.

    The focus activities are multi-day training sessions. Four sessions will be held in various eco-regions throughout the tri-state area. Participants will receive continuing education credits. Sessions will include in-class and field components.

    Products developed as a result of this project include: training curricula that will be replicable in other regions or future training sessions, specific lesson plans that trainees can use to train others in their local area, field tour schedules and proposed instruction, web-based resources including links from appropriate agencies and relevant information for students, and an updated binder/handbook of relevant conservation and organic materials (updated from information developed in previous WSARE grants). In addition, working with local producers in each of the regions, a series of case studies will be developed that will include an economic analysis, background about the operation, current marketing strategies, conservation history, and organic history.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.