From the Director
Welcome to Spring with its nice long days, planting, growing, greening, blooming… even though we are living through some game-changing times, I hope you are busy and productive time! April 1 was the due date for MOSA clients to submit their updated organic system plans and assorted paperwork; this year, because of all the uncertainty with the Coronavirus pandemic we extended the deadline but if you haven’t returned your paperwork to us yet, please get in touch with us immediately so you don’t incur any late fees and your certification continues without a hitch. And here’s a quick reminder: MOSA must be informed in advance of changes in location, management, or any other significant changes to operations. If you don’t let us know in advance of the changes, not only are you not in compliance, but you also miss opportunities to receive guidance from us on the Standards. You may benefit from our institutional experience with having seen many such changes in the past.
We recognize that these unprecedented times make for challenging situations and MOSA staff have worked to develop processes and procedures to allow for flexibility; our priorities are the health and safety of our staff, clients, and communities. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been working from our homes since mid-March and will continue to do so until September 1; we are not open to the public or to walk-in clients during this time. We have the technology and training that will allow us to remain fully operational, and all of our email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses have not changed.If you need to meet with MOSA staff, we can arrange to do so virtually - by phone, Google Meet, Zoom, etc. After September 1 we will reevaluate the situation.
We have been in continual communication with the NOP about its expectations. NOP staff are not waiving the requirements for in-person inspections of new operations, residue testing, and unannounced inspections,
but they are allowing us to be innovative in the way in which we conduct annual inspections for our current clients. MOSA has and continues to explore technology that can make this possible, and we have instituted plans for four types of inspections - in-person, virtual, a hybrid of the two, and in some situations, we are allowing desk audits. Your inspector will discuss this with
you when he or she contacts you to set up your inspection. Any in-person inspection will be done following all CDC guidelines for safety: social distancing, limiting the number of people at the inspection (ideally, two - the inspector and one site representative), conducting as much of the inspection outside as possible, wearing masks, etc. If you have any questions, concerns, or safety requirements, please let your inspector know.
Changes at MOSA. In February we implemented changes to our organizational structure. Kristen Adams was promoted to Certification Services Director and Joe Pedretti to Client Relations Director. Kristen now manages certification, compliance, and inspection staff, and Joe manages the administration and customer service departments. The benefit of this realignment was strikingly
obvious when it became clear that the pandemic was going to drastically change operations; our new organizational structure functioned extremely well in helping us to respond to the changing landscape in a timely and efficient manner.
In other news, Dan Marten was recently promoted to Inspection Manager after long-time employee Cullen Carns-Hilliker left MOSA to explore other opportunities, and Kelsey Barale moved into the Inspection Coordinator position from certification specialist. And finally, Ben Caldwell was promoted to Certification Team Leader. We’re very excited about the experiences and fresh ideas that Dan and Kelsey will bring to their new positions. Congratulations to Kristen, Joe, Dan, Ben, and Kelsey! We have also recently hired two new Certification Specialists - welcome to Jake Overgaard and Shannon Bly!
I sincerely hope you and yours are staying healthy. The Coronavirus crisis is going to change the way we do all things for a long time. That is now clear. But it is still our world and it is up to us to make the best of whatever comes our way; we’re in this together. As always, if you have any questions or comments about anything in this newsletter or about MOSA please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 608-637-2526.
Thank you for reading, and thanks for your continued commitment
to organic integrity. Be well.