Welcome to The Rodale Institute's electronic Organic System Plan tool. The purpose of this tool is to help you assemble the necessary documentation to apply for organic certification through an accredited certifying agent. Although designed to be used in conjunction with The Rodale Institute's Transitioning to Organic online course, this tool can also be used independently.
If you've been taking the Transition to Organic online course, then you've probably already been introduced to this section along the way and have assembled some or all of the information required for certification.
If you're new to this tool section, then it may help for you to visit the Certification section of our Online Course.
A complete Organic System Plan consists of one or more of the following elements, as appropriate to the individual operation: an Organic Farm Plan, an Organic Livestock Plan, and an Organic Handling Plan. Each component of the plan is broken into sections that correspond to the forms to be completed along the way. Once you've completed the entry of this information, you can print the results and submit them along with any maps to your Organic Certifier. Updates in subsequent years are completed using the Farm Plan Update tool.
The sections should take you between 2 and 8 hours to complete the first year. The subsequent annual renewal questionnaires request information about changes and will take less time to complete. The Farm Plan Update tool is provided to accomplish that.
If you're already a registered user, then all you need to do is Login to your account and get started. If you've not yet registered, please take a moment to do so. If you're not convinced you want to register, why not take a moment to visit the Demo area.
We've also included some sample documents to give you a better idea of what a complete Organic System Plan looks like. Developed by NCAT/ATTRA, these sample forms are based on three imaginary organic farm businesses: Earnest Gardener's Cold Comfort Farm, a 400-acre grain and livestock farm in Iowa featuring both organic and non-organic production; Arkie and Suzi Wannabee's Wannabe Organic Farm, a 22-acre vegetable and small fruit farm in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas; and George and Helga Schuetz's Macht Nichts Farm, a 240-acre pasture-based farm raising dairy cows, sheep and layer hens in Pennsylvania.
To get started, simply choose the form you'd like to work on from the list at left: Organic Farm Plan, Farm Plan Update, Organic Livestock Plan or Organic Handling Plan. Choose "Create New" from the menu and enter a name for your plan.