Transitioning livestock to organic

Can I convert my livestock to organic?

The USDA National Organic Program standards allow operations that are not certified for organic livestock and that have not transitioned dairy animals to transition a distinct herd of dairy animals — cattle, sheep, goats, etc. — only one time. Transitioning conventional dairy animals to organic requires one year of documented organic management.  Operations may not transition additional animals, or source transitioned animals from other operations unless it is approved under a temporary variance, after the one-time transition is complete.

Once an animal has transitioned to organic, it may not be reinstated if its organic certification is forfeited (e.g., treated with antibiotics, fed non-organic feed, etc.).

How long does livestock transition take?

The transition to organic process takes one year.

Livestock must be managed and raised in accordance with organic management requirements for feed and feed supplements, medications, grazing, and living conditions for a full year (365 days) prior to being eligible for organic certification for dairy production. If your certifier finds noncompliance during the livestock conversion process, you will be required to restart the process.

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