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International Organic Inspectors Association Announces Organic Inspector Training and Apprenticeship Program in Kentucky

Foremost inspector training organization builds long term support for new inspectors, fostering a strong career path in the organic industry.

BROADUS, MONTANA, UNITED STATES, January 27, 2022 / -- International professional association for independent organic inspectors recognizes the obstacles to recruitment and retention of quality auditors in the industry and moves to address these concerns with a robust on-site apprenticeship training program covering crops, livestock and processing operations.

“There is strong demand for qualified inspectors as the organic market grows. Entry level training is widely accessible. However, lack of access to apprenticeship is the missing rung in the ladder that onboards inspectors. This program both helps to get qualified inspectors working more quickly and improves retention of experienced talent as mentors.” – Margaret Scoles, Executive Director

Inspectors are typically the only persons on-site at certified operations to verify organic practices for both private and governmental certification bodies. More than 45,000 operations currently certified under the National Organic Program. Each one of these must be inspected at least annually.

The Apprenticeship Program is open to any trainee inspector who has passed the IOIA basic course in any of the scopes. Once accepted the apprentice will work with an experienced, approved mentor to complete an intensive week-long course of inspections. This program will include a year-long support component. The mentor acts as a resource for the apprentice as he/she gains experience in the industry.

IOIA is working in partnership with Kentucky Department of Agriculture; Kentucky State University; University of Kentucky; Organic Association of Kentucky; & Organic Integrity Cooperative Guild. Our team is developing a career pipeline to bring on new inspectors from diverse backgrounds, including farm experience and educational programs related to agricultural, environmental, and animal sciences.

There are no registration fees for participants in these courses. In lieu of a registration fee, participants agree to complete pre- and post-training evaluations to aid the development of a toolkit for future trainings. This project is supported through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, National Organic Program.

To learn more about these training opportunities please see or email Upon registration in Zoom, registrants will be sent an application form. Acceptance is limited.

Basic Organic Crop Inspection Training, Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm, KSU, Frankfort, KY, April 11-15: Four days of instruction including a field trip to a certified organic operation, plus ½ day for testing. Registration Deadline - March 7, 2022

A prerequisite for the Basic Crop Inspection Training course is the webinar on NOP Crop Standards (2 sessions of 3 hours each). 100-level NOP Crop standards webinar: March 29 & April 1

Apprenticeship Intensives: Course size is limited to five for each course. Participants work with an experienced inspector trainer who will guide them through practice inspections on four certified operations, including writing reports for each. Basic inspection training in the scope (crop or livestock) is a prerequisite. Participants are expected to be ready for solo inspection work upon completion.

Crop Apprenticeship Intensive, Frankfort, Kentucky - May 16 - 21, 2022
Registration and additional Application Deadline - February 17, 2022

Livestock Apprenticeship Intensive, Hopkinsville, Kentucky - July 11 - 16, 2022
Registration and additional Application Deadline - April 14, 2022

Transition Trainer Workshop, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY - April 26, 27, 28: This course is geared to those who assist crop and livestock producers who are transitioning to organic or new to inspection and certification. More information at For information or to register, contact Brooke Gentile at the Organic Association of Kentucky at Preparatory webinars are prerequisite for the course.
• Crop webinar (Transition Workshop): Thursday, April 14th: 10-2:30 EDT
• Livestock webinar (Transition Workshop): Thursday, April 21st: 10-2:30 EDT

Also in Kentucky, Registration fees apply:
Basic Organic Livestock Inspection Training Course, Hopkinsville, KY May 23-27, 2022
Registration Deadline - April 11, 2022

100-level NOP Livestock Standards Webinar - May 3 & 6, 2022

Register here for and learn more about all Basic Training and Apprenticeship Intensives.

About IOIA ( The International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) is the professional organization of organic inspectors and offers training and networking world-wide for crop, livestock, and processing inspectors. IOIA operates globally with inspector members in more than a dozen countries. Supporting membership is open to individuals, businesses, and organizations that support IOIA’s goals.

The IOIA Training Institute trains hundreds of working and new inspectors annually through on-site or web-based internationally recognized training events. IOIA collaborates within the organic sector with governmental agencies including the USDA National Organic Program, certification agencies, and other nonprofit educational entities, to ensure quality inspections, quality inspectors, and organic integrity.

IOIA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational association.
Photos available upon request.

Margaret Scoles
International Organic Inspectors Association
+1 406-436-2031
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