Real Organic Project Application
We’re so glad you are participating in the Real Organic Project certification program. We are a grassroots, farmer-led movement created to distinguish soil-grown and pasture-raised products under USDA organic.

This application will help us learn more about your crop and livestock systems. It shouldn't take you long to fill out right now behind your computer. Certification is free and inspection is based on a farm tour, rather than paperwork.
There are 9 Sections in the application, but you only have to fill out the sections that apply to your farm.

1. Farm Information (All Farmers Must Complete)
2. Crops (All Farmers Must Complete)
3. Split Farm (All Farmers Must Complete)
4. Greenhouse/High Tunnel
5. Livestock
6. Ruminants
7. Poultry
8. Pigs
9. Review and Submit (All Farmers Must Complete)

If you prefer, you can also print and complete it on paper and mail it to us at the address below.

If there are questions that don't apply to your farm, simply type NA (Not Applicable).

Please submit the form even if it is incomplete, and your inspector will get any missing answers with you in person.

Questions? Call Linley at (970) 317-0309 or email her at

Optional—mail completed printed form to:
[[Linley Dixon
31417 Highway 550
Durango, CO 81301]]

The full Real Organic Project Standards:

Farm Name
Your answer
Organic Since (year)
Your answer
Your answer
Full Mailing Address
Your answer
Farm Physical Address(es)
OK to answer "same as above"
Your answer
Primary Contact First and Last Name
Your answer
Primary Email
Please provide the email address for the primary contact person for prompt communications.
Your answer
Phone - Mobile (or best phone to reach you to coordinate visits)
Your answer
Your answer
Total Stewarded Acreage
Your answer
Acres in Organic Crops Production
Your answer
Acres in Organic Pasture
Your answer
Acres in Trees/Conservation
Your answer
Acres of Non-Certified Production
Your answer
Please list the crops you grow, including pasture for livestock, and approximate acreage for each.
Note: If you grow more than 10 crops, OK to answer "mixed vegetables" for example. If you grow on small acreage, OK to answer <1 acre for each crop.
Your answer
If the question doesn't apply, insert NA or skip.
Organic Farming is centered on maintaining fertile and biologically healthy soil. ROP standards require farmers to use practices that slowly-release and cycle nutrients, and minimize feeding with soluble fertilizers. Best organic practices minimize inputs because biological soil fertility can be sustained by the use of practices such as cover cropping, compost, crop rotations, green manures, mulches, and deep-rooted legumes. The goal is to continuously improve the sustainability of your farm systems over time.
Connection to Subsoil
ROP standards require that the significant majority of nourishment for plants come from soil. Adding organic matter and keeping living plant roots growing in the soil allows biodiverse soil life to slowly cycle and release nutrients over time.(Transplants and microgreens are allowed in containers because the majority of nutrients for the harvested crop will ultimately come from the soil once transplanted, or from the seed in the case of microgreens).
Do you harvest from crops grown in soil, with no barrier to the subsoil?
If your answer is no, please explain the situation and what percentage of gross sales comes from crops harvested from containers?
ROP farms may have minor production in containers provided products harvested from containers are not labeled ROP, and do not represent more than 1% of total farm sales (with the exception of microgreens and transplants).
Your answer
ROP standards allow microgreen production from containers provided harvest is prior to 21 days and there is no liquid fertility applied.
Do you grow microgreens?
If your answer is yes, answer the following:
Do you add any liquid fertilizer to your microgreens?
Are all microgreens harvested prior to 21 days?
Soil Management
Do you cover crop?
If yes, approximately what percentage of all annual cropped ground do you grow cover crops on each year?
Your answer
In your current systems, about how many months of the year is soil left bare (exposed with no cover) after tillage?
Describe efforts to reduce amount of time when bare soil is exposed.
Your answer
Compost, Mulch, and Manure
The purpose of this section is to assure that your systems are fostering soil fertility. The goal is to asses the environmental sustainability of your inputs and to reduce unsustainable inputs over time.
Do you apply compost/mulch/manure?
If yes, do you purchase compost/mulch/manure or make your own?
Briefly list the type of feedstock/ingredients/additives for the compost/mulch/manure and approximate amounts applied per year.
Your answer
Soil Fertility and Inputs
Briefly describe any other practices you use to conserve/build soil fertility, organic matter (ex, strip-tillage, shallow tillage, rotating animals on pasture, keep soil covered, fertility inputs).
Your answer
Crop Rotation
For areas that are not rotated (ex: perennials, pasture, trees, greenhouses), please describe how the production system builds and maintains the health of the soil and crops.
Your answer
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
ROP standards prohibit concentrated animal feeding operations.
Is any part of your farm considered a concentrated animal feeding operation, according to the USDA definition: “A farm in which over 1000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year during the growing season.” (For example, 1000 animal units = roughly 1,000 beef cattle; 750 dairy cows; 10,000 sheep; 2,500 pigs; 82,000 egg laying hens; 125,000 broilers; 55,000 turkeys.)
If yes, please describe how/when your farm meets the USDA definition of a CAFO.
Your answer
Hydroponic Operations
ROP standards prohibit hydroponic operations based on Organic Foods Production Act section 205.203 soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.
Is any part of your farm hydroponic according to the following definition: "Plants that receive the majority of their fertility through liquid feed?"
Split Production
Non-certified production for household use is allowed so long as practices and materials do not affect the integrity of certified organic production. Real Organic Project standards allow SALE of non-certified production up to 10% of total farm revenue, subject to the parallel production prohibitions listed below. Parallel production is the sale of organic and non-organic products in the same category.
Parallel Production: Does your farm grow both organic and non-organic products intended for sale within the following categories:
vegetables and small fruit (including berries)
tree fruit, tree nuts, and tree sap/syrup
hay, pasture, grain, pulses
ruminants for meat and byproducts
ruminants for fibers
ruminants for dairy
poultry for eggs
poultry for meat and byproducts
pigs for meat and byproducts
If you answered yes to any of the above, please explain the situation.
Your answer
ROP standards provide an exception for the sale of non-certified ornamental bedding plants and planting stock. Does your farm use this exception? (Is the sale of non-certified ornamental bedding plants greater than 10% of total farm revenue?)
If yes:
Are plants managed organically while on the farm?
Are plants clearly identified as non-organic at point of sale?
ROP standards provide an exception for the sale of non-certified meat from animals that are raised organically but are not slaughtered in a USDA facility. Does your farm use this exception? (Is the sale of non-certified meat greater than 10% of total farm revenue?)
If yes:
Are non-certified products labeled "not organic" at point of sale?
Are non-certified products managed organically other than at slaughter?
To avoid label confusion, are all non-NOP certified products clearly identified as “not organic” at point of sale?
Transitional Organic
Is there land, crops or livestock undergoing bona fide transition to certified organic?
If yes, please describe how many acres/animals are in transition to organic?
Your answer
Split Farm Description
Status of Operation
Under what name/s, label/s, and brand/s do you market your products (include both organic and non-organic brands if applicable)?
Your answer
What percent of your gross sales comes from non-certified organic products?
Your answer
What practices do you use on your farm that wouldn’t comply with organic standards?
Your answer
If the question doesn't apply, insert NA or skip.
How many square feet of greenhouse/tunnel space do you have?
Your answer
Grown in Soil
Real Organic Project standards require that harvested organic vegetables and fruits must come from plants grown in the soil and not from containers or isolated substrate cultures. Minor container production is allowed as long as it amounts to less than 1% of gross sales.

Growing in substrates (containers) is accepted for seedlings and transplants and for plants that are sold to the consumer together with the pot/container in which they grow (e.g. herbs in pots, ornamentals). Microgreens are allowed as long as there is no liquid feed. Microgreens are exempt from the requirement to be sold in their containers.

Are all greenhouse/tunnel crops intended for sale grown in soil connected to the bedrock (except for microgreens and plants sold in containers)?
Greenhouse/High Tunnel Inputs
The purpose of this section is not to check whether or not an input is allowed, your NOP inspector has already done this. Rather, the goal is to assess if crops are fertilized primarily from slow release, complex organic materials that decompose in the soil and release crop nutrients over time, e.g., compost, organic matter, or slow release fertilizer materials such as rock powders or meals.
Please list the SLOW-RELEASE inputs used in your greenhouse/tunnel system and how often you are using them (ex: compost, leaves, baleage, meals).
Your answer
Please list the SOLUBLE inputs used in your greenhouse/high tunnel system and how often you are using them (ex: fish emulsion, hydrolyzed soy protein, pelleted chicken manure).
Your answer
Greenhouse/High Tunnel Pest and Disease Control
Real Organic Project standards consider pesticides a fallback strategy. Intensive greenhouse/high tunnel growers must create a level of soil health and a rich biological community that allows production without the regular use of pesticides.
Explain how your production system is not reliant upon the routine use of (approved) pesticides for disease and insect control. If your system requires regular use of a pesticide, please list the input and the pest it is needed to control.
Your answer
Greenhouse/High Tunnel Soil Solarization
Do you use solarization or shallow steam treatment of the greenhouse soil?
Do you use deep steam treatment of the soil (greater than 4 inches)?
If yes, Real Organic Project standards require prior approval and documentation
If yes, please explain why.
Your answer
Greenhouse/High Tunnel Lighting
Real Organic Project standards allow artificial light only on dark/overcast days and for extending the daylight period during autumn, winter, and early spring. Artificial light is allowed for photo-periodical induction of flowering.
Do you use artificial light in your greenhouse?
Briefly describe the dates and/or conditions during which artificial light is used.
Your answer
Greenhouse/High Tunnel Energy Use
If the greenhouse energy consumption exceeds 41,000 BTU per sq.ft. per year, Real Organic Project standards require an energy analysis and a plan for increased energy efficiency and/or greater use of renewable energy.
Do you add heat to your greenhouse?
If yes, how are you heating your greenhouse (propane, oil, wood, kerosene, electric, etc.) and how much do you use per year (gallons, yards of wood, btu, etc.)?
Your answer
How many square feet of greenhouse do you heat?
Your answer
Outdoor Access
Do all animals have daily, year-round access to the outdoors, where the outdoors constitutes at least 50% vegetative cover during the growing season (note: pigs are exempt from vegetative cover requirements)?
Vegetative cover may include pasture, bushes, shrubs, hedgerows, and trees.
Are any of these practices used on your farm:
Needle teeth trimming or grinding, nose ringing, tusk removal, castration after 14 days of age, and tail docking in pigs
Tail docking, disbudding calves over two months of age or without anesthesia, and wattling in cattle
De-horning (Note: de-horning is prohibited except when the health or safety of the herd is put at serious risk; and then must be done by experienced handler and with appropriate anesthesia)
De-snooding, wattle and comb trimming, notching, toe-clipping and trimming, hole-punching, dubbing, de-beaking and beak trimming, caponization, and forced molting in avian species
The use of goggles or other similar artificial devices designed to reduce feather pecking
Mulesing and tail docking of sheep shorter than the distal end of the caudal fold in sheep
Face branding for all species
Dry Matter Intake
Please provide the number of acres exclusively used for pasture, the number of acres exclusively used for hay, and the number of acres that are used for both pasture and hay:
Your answer
On the acres that are both hayed AND used for pasture, roughly estimate what percent of the total yield will be made for hay vs. grazed.
Your answer
Please provide the number of grazing animals in each animal group:
Your answer
Please estimate average pasture yields on your farm (OK to leave blank if you don't know, we can roughly calculate for you based on your location):
Your answer
What is the DMI% from pasture (calculated for your organic certification)?
Your answer
Origin of Livestock
Are all ruminants, including dairy cattle, organic from the last third of gestation other than the one-time farm transition to organic certification?
Are tie stalls and stanchions used other than while milking?
Are all ruminants fed colostrum within the first 24 hours of birth?
Real Organic poultry standards require outdoor access that includes soil with a minimum 50% vegetative cover during the growing season. Soil must be connected to subsoil and bedrock. The use of “porches” or other screened in and/or roofed structures attached to a fixed poultry house do not qualify as outdoor access.
Do all poultry spend a minimum of half of their life outdoors before being slaughtered (where outdoors is defined as 50% vegetated cover)?
Poultry Housing Types: Indoor/Outdoor, Mobile/Fixed.
Please describe all variations of poultry housing that you use (mobile/fixed) and the minimum total space allotment per bird at any given time for both indoor and outdoor housing and for all life stages.
Your answer
Please provide the total number of acres of pasture available for all poultry on the farm.
Your answer
Please provide the total number of birds you will raise on these acres per year.
Your answer
For mobile housing/fencing, please describe the approximate number of times poultry will be on the same space per season.
Your answer
Additional Outdoor Requirements
Are there sufficient exit doors on all poultry housing that are distributed to ensure that all individual birds have ready and easy access to the outdoors?
Is shaded outdoor space provided sufficient so that chickens do not have to crowd together to find shatde?
Note: Real Organic Project standards require structures, trees, or other objects, vegetation must be 50%
Is there sufficient water, food, and protection in outdoor areas?
Perch Requirements
How many inches of perch space are provided per bird for layer and breeder chickens?
Perch space may include a rail in front of nest boxes
Your answer
Does enough natural light enter shelters during daylight hours to read inside?
Do you use artificial lights to extend daylight hours?
Under Real Organic Project standards, daylight hours cannot be extended beyond a maximum of 16 hours
If yes, what is the maximum total number of hours daylight received?
Your answer
Volatile ammonia levels
Please describe how you keep volatile ammonia levels low in fixed houses.
Example: windows, new bedding, cleanings, etc.
Your answer
Are pigs housed in groups at all times except for farrowing, boars, and illnesses?
Briefly describe the shelter used for farrowing.
ROP Standards prohibit gestation crates and farrowing crates. Piglets can not be kept on flat decks or in piglet cages. Sows must be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down at all times. Creeps and bumper bars may be used if set a maximum of 18 inches away from a wall. Slatted flooring is prohibited in all pig housing and shelters.
Your answer
Bedding and manipulatable materials
Briefly describe all bedding and manipulatable materials provided
ROP standards require deep bedded straw and/or rooting and/or manipulatable materials be provided for all pigs to allow individuals to forage, nest, and otherwise prevent behavior problems whenever indoors or during temporary confinement events. During the farrowing and suckling period a minimum of 2 inches of bedding material must be provided through seven days of age, after which more is required.
Your answer
Outdoor Area
How are your pigs managed to prevent degradation of the soil?
Your answer
You did it! You'll receive an email confirmation with a record of your replies. (Optional) Email pictures to When you're ready to submit, choose Yes below.
Do you have any questions for us?
Your answer
Do you have any suggestions for us to improve this form?
Your answer
Please list other certified organic farms that you would recommend for inclusion in the Real Organic Project. Please consider reaching out to them and encouraging them to apply. THANK YOU!
Your answer
Never submit passwords through Google Forms.
This form was created inside of Real Organic Project.