Annual Requirements

Producers are authorized to use the CNG name and logo and receive our marketing materials only after their application is accepted and the three core requirements are completed. For the first year, we want to hear from each producer what timeframe works best for completing these requirements, and we’ll support them to meet their goals.

To maintain CNG certification thereafter, producers must fulfill these core requirements annually. 

Membership dues 

We recommend dues of $250, $300 or more. It’s up to each member to determine the exact amount that’s right for their operation. CNG is powered by the grassroots, not corporate conglomerates, so please pay as you’re able. 

We offer several convenient installment plans, using a credit card or your bank’s Bill Pay service. The minimum amount to be considered paid is $150 unless a waiver is requested:

  • Farmers may tap the Grassroots Fund for dues assistance if they’re facing unusual hardship or just getting started.
  • Farmers of color may tap the Equity Fund for dues assistance.
  • An exception is granted for beekeepers, who must pay some amount, but to accommodate hobbyists, we don’t require a waiver for lower amounts. 

Pay dues in our CNG store or by check. First year dues will be paid according to the producer’s timeline, and annually thereafter, by the end of February.

Declaration

Your signature on the Declaration indicates you understand and accept the terms of participating in the CNG program. Your Declaration will be posted on your online profile. The first Declaration is due according to the producer’s timeline, and annually thereafter, by the end of February. Please sign the Declaration here.

Inspection

All producers must arrange an on-site inspection to take place during the growing season. The first inspection will be due according to the producer’s timeline, and then annually 12 months after the previous inspection. Inspections are done by other CNG producers or alternative options. For full details, review the Inspection Forms and Guidelines

Use the Find Inspection searchable map to locate CNG members near you who are eligible to inspect your farm or apiary and due to fulfill this annual work requirement.

Search results are designed to adhere to our Inspection Guidelines. Please note there is a strict rule against trading inspections within a 2-year timeframe. And if you repeat an inspector 2 years in a row, you must include a Community Observer.

The Work Requirement: Conducting a Peer Review

CNG is powered by the active participation of our members. All certified producers are required to conduct a peer review annually. This is an aspect of CNG that many farmers and beekeepers most appreciate. The work requirement is waived if there is no CNG producer within an hour’s drive who needs an inspection. It is prohibited to “trade” inspections with the person who inspected your farm or apiary within two years.

You can use the Give Inspection searchable map to find out which members near you, of the same certification type, are due for a CNG inspection, so you can reach out and fulfill your work requirement. We encourage new members instead to sign up to observe a remote inspection, rather than conduct an inspection, when invited to do so. Observing enables you to learn the ropes and also fulfill the work requirement.

For a visual representation of the annual certification process, check out our Certification Flow Chart.

Record Keeping

This is something that you should do in your own way. The observations you record today will help you plan tomorrow. We simply ask that you maintain records of the following items in one convenient folder for your inspector to quickly and easily access. Copies should not be sent to us.

  1. Receipts and orders of the following: seed and transplant orders; any purchased soil amendment items (off farm compost, rock powders, pre-mixed Organic Fertilizers, etc.); and any purchased botanical and biological pesticides (Bt, Sulfur, insecticidal soap, etc.)
  2. An updated copy of your application. This was emailed to you when it was accepted by us, or updated by you. It can also be printed from your online profile.
  3. Farmers that use chelated micronutrients to correct a soil deficiency must have soil tests from within the past twelve months that specifically note the deficiency.
  4. Producers with Mushroom or Aquaponic certification will have additional record keeping requirements, which are defined in the standards for those programs. 

That’s it! Now you can get back to the REAL work of running your farm!