Eugene company builds high-tech tool for farmers


Eugene-based Certified Organic Business Solutions created a new online tool to help organic farmers keep their numerous records.

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Eugene-based Certified Organic Business Solutions created a new online tool to help organic farmers keep their numerous records.

The tool is called Certified Organically Grown Professional, or COG Pro.

“To be certified organic you have to keep tons of activity records,” [COG Pro developer Richard Wilen] said, noting that every seed, crop, fertilizer application, even equipment cleaning must be accounted for. “I never met a single farmer that got into this to become an accountant. It’s an incredible burden. I’m hoping this will bring a little sanity to the process,” he said.

With more than 50 certifiers accrediting farms under the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s organic label nationally, Wilen argues sanity is needed. There are currently no uniform record-keeping standards for organic certification, and requirements vary from one certifier to the next. Farmers often receive incomplete instructions on what to track, Wilen said. And until now, he said, the spreadsheets, workbooks and checklists available to guide farmers through the process haven’t cut through the confusion.

Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.

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