Our Mission: To address issues and concerns relevant to organic inspectors, to provide quality inspector training, and
to promote consistency and integrity in the organic certification process.

Andrew Rutherford Scholarships

IOIA accepts applications for the annual Andrew Rutherford Scholarship Award, which provides full tuition for an IOIA-sponsored organic inspector training course during the following year. Both prospective and experienced inspectors are eligible to apply for the Rutherford Scholarship. It is awarded to an individual on the basis of need and potential as judged by the IOIA Scholarship Committee. Applicants can choose to attend any IOIA-sponsored training. The Scholarship pays for tuition, room and board but does not cover transportation or other expenses.

The late Andrew Rutherford was a farmer, organic inspector, and organic agriculture researcher from southern Saskatchewan. He served on IOIA's initial steering committee and then several years as a Founding Board Member.

IOIA also offers an annual Organic Community Initiative Scholarship (OCIS), which provides full tuition for an IOIA-sponsored basic organic inspector training during the following year. It is awarded to an individual on the basis of need and their potential to have a positive impact on their regional organic community. The Organic Community Initiative Scholarship is only open to applicants from outside of the US or Canada. Applicants can choose to attend any basic IOIA-sponsored training. The Scholarship pays for tuition, room and board but does not cover transportation or other expenses.

2017 Andrew Rutherford Scholarship Recipient - Craig Shroyer

My name is Craig Shroyer, I am 36 years old and I am originally from Anderson, Indiana where it’s common to see large farms canvassing the landscape. Growing up I had a very limited agricultural background until 1999 when I moved to Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that my interest and knowledge of organic farming and gardening grew.
During my 12 years in Asheville I had the privilege of working on a 500 acre Boer Goat farm, attended many workshops and events based on organic growing methods, sustainability, wild edibles and became more immersed in the organic movement. In 2011 I moved to Central Pennsylvania to a town of 300 surrounded by both organic and Conventional farmland. With my growing interest in organic agriculture and with the guidance from other inspectors in my area, I attended the IOIA Basic Crop training in May of 2016. Since becoming certified by IOIA I have conducted around 20 inspections for two different agencies.
I plan to use the Rutherford Scholarship to attend the Spring 2017 Livestock training. With this wonderful opportunity I will be able to conduct livestock inspections that are more prevalent in my area and therefore contribute to a wider range of certified organic operations.
Aside from my interest in the organic movement I am also an avid gardener, fly fisher, conservationist and a stay at home father of two. The trainings and skills that IOIA have presented me have been life changing. Not only have I had the chance to carve out a career path for myself, but I have also had pleasure of working with an industry and movement that I truly believe in. I look forward to applying the skills that I have learned from past and future trainings to ensure organic integrity, growth, and sustainability within the Organic Sector.

2017 OCIS Recipient - Krishna Prasad Paudel, Kathmandu, Nepal

As a government employee, my responsibilities include organic vegetable seed production, farm management, organic vegetable production in farm communities, and mobilization of farmer’s group/cooperatives into organic cultivation. I also work part-time with consultancy to NGO and farmer’s cooperative for organic production and marketing. Since my professional background is directly related to organic sector development, a proposed training program is related to my job nature. I wish to apply for the course that may support to carry out my responsibilities more efficiently.

In connection to the goal, at least five farmer’s cooperatives will transform into complete organic farming over the next five years. At the same time, I’ll add more to establish a model organic village with clear demarcation. The knowledge and skills acquired during the training will be utilized for technical, legal and managerial skill development for organic production, inspection, certification and marketing that can be applied to serve farm community and help to achieve the goal set for the next five years.

The Deadline for returning Scholarship applications is October 1.

Scholarship recipients are notified by December 15.

Download applications for either scholarship program from the links below.

Para el español, chasque aqui.

Please return completed applications to:
P.O. Box 6
Broadus, MT 59317-0006

Rutherford Application PDF MS doc
Rutherford Recommendation Form PDF MS doc
OCIS Application PDF MS doc
OCIS Recommendation Form PDF MS doc