County of Marin - News Releases - Agricultural Inspectors

For Immediate Release
February 18, 2020

Marin Organic Certified Agriculture Captures Award

Team monitors environmentally sustainable practices on farms, ranches

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin’s organic certifiers who inspect agricultural lands in Marin County are among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Agricultural inspectors Chris Cook (left) and Raoul Wertz (right) stand on either side of a federal agricultural official.Agricultural inspectors Chris Cook (left) and Raoul Wertz (right) stand on either side of Jenny Tucker, Deputy Administrator for the National Organic Program.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) recently recognized the work of select accredited organic certifiers across the country with awards for extraordinary support of the national organic standards, and the six-member team from Marin Organic Certified Agriculture (MOCA) came home from a conference in San Antonio, Texas, with a top honor.

MOCA, based out of the Marin County Department of Agriculture in Novato, monitors farming producers who seek initial or continuing certification to the NOP regulations. Organic farming emphasizes a greater cooperation with nature without reliance on most synthetic inputs used on conventional / non-certified agricultural production.

Consumer demand for certified organic products is increasing with an expectation by consumers that organic products are verifiable. MOCA was developed to provide a professional service to local individual and business operations engaged in the production and distribution of organically grown commodities and processed products. One of the most important benefits of the MOCA program is to support production of organic value-added products by Marin’s family farms.

MOCA provides organic certification services to 50 operations, mostly all of which are based in Marin. Producers of organic crops (such as leafy greens and vegetables but also organic pasture) and dairy are the leading categories of agricultural products certified by MOCA. On an acreage basis, MOCA certifies approximately 32,835 acres of productive land and open space within the county’s borders. This acreage represents 3,077 acres of fruits/vegetables and 29,758 acres of pasture/rangeland.

The awards were presented at the annual NOP Certifier Training for organic inspectors from around the world. The six honored were Emmett Brady, Chris Cook, Johanna Good, Susan Ventura, Dann Walters, and Raoul Wertz.

“Congratulations to the entire MOCA team, present and past, for laying the foundation and setting high standards,” Wertz said.


Stacy Carlsen
Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures

1682 Novato Blvd.
Suite 150-A
Novato, CA 94947
(415) 473-6700
Email: Stacy Carlsen
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