NEW TOOL CONNECTS ND ORGANIC PRODUCERS AND BUYERS

BISMARCK – Organic crop and livestock producers can now use online classified advertising to find buyers for their products, while organic buyers can use the same service to locate producers.

"The North Dakota Organic Farming website, http://www.ndorganics.nd.gov/, offers free, online classified advertisements to any farmer or company listed in the site's online directory,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “The directory lists certified organic producers, buyers, processors and retailers in the state of North Dakota.”

A free listing in the directory is available by contacting the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) at (701) 328-2231 or ndda@nd.gov. The directory is searchable by product, county and location.

Once listed in the directory, individuals and companies can use the classified section to list products for sale or products they are looking to buy. Advertisements can be completed online and posted immediately.

Goehring said NDDA and the department's Organic Advisory Board developed the on-line classifieds in response to the growing demand for organic products and growing interest in organic agriculture. He said connecting buyers and sellers is often cited as one of the biggest difficulties facing organic industry.

“For producers, finding buyers of organic grains and livestock products often requires hours of phone calls, traveling to meetings to meet buyers, and searching hundreds of on-line leads,” he said. “For buyers, the situation is equally frustrating. Processors and brokers spend much of their time annually traveling to organic farming meetings and field tours, and spending hours on the telephone contacting growers.”

The situation is complicated by the diverse and varied crop rotations necessary in organic farming; each farmer may have several different crops available each year.

Goehring encouraged organic producers, companies and consumers to check out the website for other information.

“Besides the free marketing tools, the site features resources for farmers and processors interested in organic certification for their farms and products, as well as information about organic food and farming for consumers,” he said.