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.

2016 Andrew Rutherford Scholarship Recipient - Arthur Bassett

arthur bassettMy organic journey began with coffee.  After graduating with a BS in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, I sought a means of applying my interest in, and knowledge of, agricultural methods.  I took an internship at non-certified organic, cross-cultural, Fair Trade coffee growers collective based in Chiapas, Mexico. The farmers there shared with me their organic coffee growing techniques.  I learned (from hands-on experience) such techniques as the necessity to include both the cherry skins and parchment husks in organic production.  I taught the growers' children English.  Thus began (and continues to the present time) a mutually beneficial relationship that became the basis of my organic foundation.

I applied this knowledge and found my next calling in Vanuatu as a Peace Core volunteer.  There I learned from the people the subsistence farming techniques that had been utilized for thousands of years.  I also learned more about organic coffee growing practices and production in an area so remote that there were no other options.  In addition, I realized that equally as important as the quality standards for organic growth are the basic needs (such as clean water and family healthcare) in order to successfully implement community based organic growing projects.

Recently a coffee project led me to Haiti, where I was invited to work with local growers as a member of a multi-national coffee development project.  It was in Haiti that I learned about the inspection aspect of organic production.  A colleague, who worked as an inspector with IOIA, encouraged me to apply for a basic crop certificate with IOIA.  I applied and completed my course in North Carolina in May, 2015.

Since receiving my certificate I mentored with two inspectors who gracefully showed me the ropes of working in the US and in Mexico.  Since then I have worked extensively in Mexico and the United States. I plan to use the Rutherford Scholarship to continue to deepen my knowledge of organic growing, production and inspection with a processing training in the beginning of 2016.

To date I have not inspected any coffee plantations or operations but I know that I will in the future.  I hope to share what I have learned to do what I can to improve economic quality and equity in organic agriculture.

2016 OCIS Recipient - Evans Kwaku Duah

Evans Kwaku Duah

I am Evans Kwaku Duah, just call me Evans.  I am the 2nd child among the 3 children, however grew up intellectually with a religious family of Venerable David Okyere Korankye who is also an animal nutritionist. We used to live in Asante Mampong, Ghana West Africa.  I enjoy company with traits like mine. What matter is I could reflect myself to them. I love friends who also love me. On the other hand, I despise persons who are insensitive (though sometimes, I am one).

They say High School Life is the happiest moment of one's life. Maybe because this is the time where you will experience all one's "first".... and I supposed you know what does this 'first' means.. First love, first heartbreak, first kiss? But I will also say College has been my great  progress as that is where I met a lovely colleague called Isaac Kwasi Ofoe who introduce me to world of ORGANIC agriculture ( Inspection /Auditing ).

By working with a certification body in Europe for the first time were lots of memories and I could not tell you much of it that would take me  more pages to tell you the experiences I've been. The normal cycle of studying is  what makes university differs, that is the weight of maturity and realization, the matter of study now in tertiary is above-heavier than high school and should take it seriously, because what happens to you in this stage would reflect on how and what more you can and cannot do on your future years.

Well I guess this is my turn to explain  organic certification or even its journals in general. And I will surely make it because I am capable of its form of expression, another one of the many outlets that human beings are capable of doing. I just have a few bones to pick this organic course. Besides I was never taught these things, even all the pronouns universities in Ghana does not.

Again I've never been sat down and thought of these. Now this is just me, but looking back on that situation I think this could be a reason that I don't write as much as I used to.

As a kid my mom thought me to focus on what I want to achieve in the future, and if I wanted to, I could read a book big enough to last a month and I loved to get a new ideas, sit down, and have the words roll off my sub-conscience tongue as my imagination would run rampant with stories about Africa and the organic world.

And with the help of Mr. Kolja Braun, forma head of Africa (West- Africa) department for CERES GmbH, I discovered IOIA which is about to make me organic inspector at it’s large.  I  believe growing of organic movement in the near future is through the career of its inspectors  in a positive diverse of sustainability which prolongs bio-diversity.

Organic farming as a whole does not mean of giving the people healthy food but other incentives like better standard of living.

It gives me much enthusiasm to be part of thousands members of these movement which  promote or enhance our healing nature.

I am very astonish to be the recipient of Organic Community Initiative Scholarship ( OCIS ) monitored by International Organic Inspectors Association ( IOIA ).

Together we build organic movement; together we achieved its principles.

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