The Certified Organic Farm Technician initiative is the first National Organic Program career and technician education program trial. The elective course of study is aligned core standards Career and Technical Education Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) pathway.

Career and Technical Education teaches career-specific knowledge and skills to prepare students for the professional world of work. CTE focuses on application of these skills through classroom and real-world supervised agricultural experience. The training prepares students to contribute specialized farming skills and agriculture expertise to sustainable, organic food-production operations.

It’s designed to prepare agricultural students with a foundation of specialized knowledge, organic skills and regulations needed as formally trained farm technicians in organic, and conventional agriculture workforce. Next-generation students will learn the history of organic food system, and its impact of global crop production and ecosystem ecology. They will study economic advantages of sustainable, organic food systems.

The classroom and school farm training model covers: conservation tillage, organic compost production, soil fertility, seeds, crop planning/production, crop covers, weeding, allowed integrated pest management substances, federal regulations and standards, organic system plans, record keeping and required records to earn/maintain a USDA organic designation.