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. These requirements can be fulfilled in any order, according to each producer’s timeline, but we recommend that first-time applicants wait until their application is accepted before completing the core requirements.
To maintain CNG certification thereafter, producers must fulfill these core requirements annually.
We recommend dues of $300, $350, or more. The minimum is $250. It’s up to each member to determine the amount that’s right for their operation. Dues may be covered in monthly installments using a credit card or your bank’s Bill Pay service. For monthly dues we recommend $25 or $30/month. The minimum is $21/month.
CNG is powered by our grassroots movement, not corporate conglomerates, so please pay as you’re able. Some members qualify for assistance and waivers:
- 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.
- Beekeepers must pay some amount, but to accommodate hobbyists, we waive the minimum requirement.
Pay dues online through your dashboard or by check. First year dues will be paid according to the producer’s timeline, and annually thereafter by the end of January.
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.
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 inspectors. For full details, review the Inspection Forms and Guidelines.
Use the searchable map to locate CNG members near you to inspect your farm or apiary.
Be sure to consult our Inspection Guidelines. Please note there is a strict rule against trading inspections within a two-year timeframe. And if you repeat an inspector two 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. In addition to receiving an annual inspection, certified producers are required to conduct a peer review inspection annually. This is an aspect of CNG that many farmers and beekeepers appreciate most. 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 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. Observing enables you to learn the ropes and also fulfill the work requirement.
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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!