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NMSU to co-sponsor organic certification workshop in Abiquiu

ABIQUIU ? If you are an agricultural producer in Rio Arriba County and northern New Mexico, converting your operation to organic certification may be a way to increase your income.


A selection of colorful vegetables.
Growers can increase their profits on their produce crops by having their farm organic certified. New Mexico State University?s Cooperative Extension Service in Rio Arriba County will host a workshop to introduce area farmers on the process of becoming organic certified. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Rio Arriba County Rural Event Center in Abiquiu, located on State Highway 554. (NMSU photo by John Garlisch)

Statistics show the economic benefits for growers to raise organic produce can be 20 to 100 percent in price premiums, according to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture?s organic commodity adviser.

New Mexico State University?s Cooperative Extension Service in Rio Arriba County will host a workshop to introduce area farmers on the process of becoming organic certified. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Rio Arriba County Rural Event Center in Abiquiu, located on State Highway 554.

?A farmer has to look closely into organic certification,? said Donald Martinez, Rio Arriba County Extension agricultural agent. ?It?s not an easy process, but could be profitable for marketing their crops to a group of clientele wanting organic grown products.?

The workshop will be presented by Joanie Quinn, David Kraenzel and Dale Nelson.
?People who are interested in joining the organic market to take advantage of the expanding market will need to have their farms certified organic,? said Quinn, New Mexico Department of Agriculture?s organic commodity adviser. ?This workshop will present the basic things that need to be done in order to get that certification.?

Quinn added that the presentations will also let people know what the costs are associated with certification and how some of those costs can be reimbursed.

?We will also discuss marketing organic produce,? Quinn said. ?A lot of consumers want organic. A farmers? market grower displaying the USDA Organic seal on their booth will attract the people looking for organic products. The certification can also help the grower in entering markets where buyers just want organic products.?

Lunch will be served at the workshop, so participants are asked to register by May 22 at the Rio Arriba County Extension office at 505-685-4523; or with Sam Baca at 505-983-7726. The event is co-sponsored by NMSU, NMDA and the Santa Fe Farmers? Market Institute.