How to Get Certified

The National Organic Program regulations were adopted to bring standardization to the use of the term organic. Except for operations whose gross agricultural income from organic sales totals $5,000 or less, farm operations that grow and process organic foods must be certified by USDA-accredited certifying agents. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is a USDA accredited certifying agent for producers located in Maryland. MDA also offers a registration program for exempt operations.

The basic certification process for a production operation:

  1. Submit an application and $500.00 certification fee to MDA. The application outlines the organic system plan (OSP) for the type of operation being certified.
  2. MDA reviews the application to determine if the OSP appears to be in compliance with the National Organic Program.
  3. If the OSP appears to be in compliance with the National Organic Program, MDA will contact the applicant to schedule an inspection.
  4. MDA reviews the application and inspection report to determine if the operation is in compliance with the standards established by the National Organic Program.
  5. MDA issues a certificate to applicants that have met all the requirements.

Application forms and other information for producers.

​​​​Organic Certification Program Information

Phone: 410-841-5769



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