The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced at the end of 2015 that they will extend the organic farmer exemption from conventional commodity checkoffs to ALL organic farmers, effective February 29, 2016. Those farms that are already exempt from paying into their conventional check-offs do not have to re-apply as their exemption will continue. Those that have previously not applied for exemption will need to fill out a revised form AMS-15; submit that form to the commodity check-off they are currently paying into; wait up to thirty days for the check-off Board to approve the exemption or ask more questions; then work with their buyers to ensure that the check-off money is not taken out, or submit a request for reimbursement to the checkoff Board.
For instructions on how to apply for the exemption please go to: Organic Exemption Instructions February 2016
For a copy of the Dairy AMS-15 form (all commodities have a different form) please go to: AMS-15 Organic Exemption Dairy Board