402.477.2323 info@ocia.org

LINCOLN, NE:  The OCIA Outstanding Organic Farmer of the Year award honors talented producers who certify to the OCIA level of excellence. These farmers excel in thoughtful cropping and livestock practices that build soil and reduce pests and weeds. They maintain and enhance the environment. They are innovative in farm practice.  Outstanding organic farmers are involved in the organic community, promoting and supporting organic agriculture. They are often also involved members of their local communities.

During the 2018 OCIA Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Terry and Roseanna Sheehan of Sunnie Valley Farms, in Westlock, Alberta received the award for 2018 Farmer of the Year.

Terry and Roseanna took over a family mixed farm when Terry was just 20 years old.  Their farm has grown over time and they now have four children, who are all interested in farming. 

Certified since 1997, the Sheehan’s farm consists mostly of hay land and pasture with some oats and barley grown for feed as well as human consumption.  The hay is a mixture of Alfalfa and grasses grown to feed and graze their beef herd.   

Portable feed bunks and wind break panels are used to move the cattle around and avoid keeping them in the same place every year.  Areas of trees have also been planted for shelter.  All the fat animals are sold as organic beef, either directly to consumers, or to a local buyer.  Along with planting trees, the Sheehans put up birdhouses and have two beehive colonies on their farm to enhance the natural environment.  The Sheehans improve their soil by having a rotation that includes perennial forages, grasses and grazing. 

Terry is very active promoting organic agriculture, having served as president and director of the Alberta Organic Producers Association.  He is currently serving on the OCIA International Board of Directors, and has previously served as treasurer.  He is also very active in the OCIA Chapter Members Association – Canada and serves as president.  He has been an Alberta representative for the Organic Federation of Canada, as well as the director and OFC representative of Organic Alberta.

OCIA Research and Education is proud to recognize Terry and Roseanna Sheehan as our 2018 Farmer of the Year. 

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OCIA is a not-for-profit organic certification agency that has offered a wide variety of accreditations to our members throughout the world for over 30 years.  During an annual meeting, approximately organic farmers from the United States, Canada and Latin America come together to meet and vote on the Bylaws, Standards and Board of Directors for this member-run organization.

Contact: Angie Tunink, Marketing Director

               OCIA International, Inc.

 Phone:  (402) 477-2323

 E-Mail:  atunink@ocia.org 

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Thank you for submitting your organic certification application! OCIA looks forward to working with you.

For applicants who new or currently under suspension, please see the end of the page for some important notes.

An estimate for your 2020 certification and inspection fees was sent with the login information. Please promptly send payment to the address on the invoice. If you are a new applicant, OCIA will not review your file until payment is received.

If you are submitting hardcopies of any supporting documents, please mail them to the address on the invoice. Failure to submit required supporting documents may lead to delays in the review.

Once a complete file is received, OCIA will complete a pre-inspection review. During this process, OCIA will contact you if additional information is needed. Please respond to any communication from OCIA in a timely manner.

Please contact OCIA International if you have any questions.

New applicants: Please be reminded that as a new applicant, your operation currently cannot label or sell product as organic. If organic certification is granted, an organic certificate will be issued and product can then be sold as organic.

For farm operations, the inspector must see your crop in the field, so check-strips must be left in all fields requested for certification if any harvest occurs prior to inspection. For hay fields, any hay harvested prior to inspection cannot be certified as organic.

For suspended operations: Please be aware that no product can be sold as “organic” while suspended and previous product is no longer “organic.” For farm operations, any crops currently in storage are no longer organic and must be sold conventionally. Only crops harvested after reinstatement, if it is granted, may be sold as “organic.” Any crops harvested from fields prior to reinstatement must be sold conventionally.

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Thank you for submitting your organic certification application! OCIA looks forward to working with you.

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