Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by turf hokie, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to voice a little frustration with NOFA and see what thoughts were out there.

    I sent my main tech to get accredited in Feb 2010, cost 5 days of labor to send him. Plus $800 for the course and $300 for the test to become official. Then add in $100 per year so they can continue their good work.

    Now I have to have him get an additional 4 credits by the end of December for 2011 renewal, soooo, I am looking at a full day course (8 hours) plus travel to get 4 credits for another $100 plus another $100 so they can continue their good work. Of course I could send him closer and go the Bronx Botanical Gardens but that would entail 4 - 2 hour nights + travel and $300+ for the course.

    I ran into one bid that required NOFA accredidation but when I was the only one to have it, they rescinded that requirement. So the one time it was going to pay for itself, the opportunity got taken from me and I ended up losing the bid by 50%.

    Honestly the organic customers we have could give a rat's arse that we are NOFA accredited and most dont even know what NOFA is.

    Why is it so expensive and why do I need to have him go so often for credits, etc. it is easier to maintain my NY pesticide certification and cost just as much to get it. WTF?

    Am I in a cult or what? is this worth it?

  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    It's a scam, like most professional associations.
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    That's it Kiril?

    I dont think I have ever see such a short answer from you!!

    I just cant figure it out. I dont seem to get anything out of any other association either but this one seemed to be setting standards with testing and courses etc that with the green movement it would be great to have some sort fo standard, but for the cost of it and what we are getting out of it...I think that it is not what I thought it was...
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Yup ........ :laugh:

    It just increases your cost of doing business for little to no gain other than some letters you can add to your name. And for what? An "education" that barely qualifies as a review of the pertinent fields of study. No thanks.
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    Only you can decide if the investment is worth it for your company. Since you do work in Westchester NY and with schools, I think being NOFA accredited is a wise decision.

    Your statement is ...................................................................
    Well, you'll just have to read my mind.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    It's my opinion Barry .... and you don't have to agree with it, but at the very least you should respect my right to express it.

    I am curious why you feel that landscapers should be NOFA certified. Landscaping has nothing to do with farming .... or perhaps I am missing something?

    Now if you want an example of a accreditation program that has some weight, here you go.
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    I respect your right to express your opinion. Just identify it as an opinion.

    The accreditation program Bryan is referring to is offered by NOFA for Landcare Professionals.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You could take Peter Schmidts compostwerks course it has 4 hours towards NOFA and its pretty close

    I work in landscaping, sports turf and Golf the sports turf and golf guys are always working with each other sharing experiences about products and equipment, it doesn't seem to happen in landscaping (much) probably because you see each other as competition

    I think one of the goals of NOFA (accredited landscape professional) was to have a group of folks that could share and raise the collective knowledge as well as having certain standards to base your program on. It does have certain standards but unfortunately the wealth of knowledge sharing idea has not worked very well
  9. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I appreciate all the opinions, that was what I was looking for. And I agree that working in the areas that I work, I thought that NOFA would have carried more weight than it seems to.

    Schools are tough in NY, the new laws that passed are going to have to have addendums added to them or we are just not going to be able to service them. The school budgets will not allow for us to follow the new laws as they are written. I will probably lose 3 sites if they are not altered by spring, with more to follow I am sure....I dont see how we can apply an federal exempt product only program and be able to maintain 2 acres of turf for the same or less than the IPM/bridge progam they are on, the math isnt there....

    any way that was off topic.

    It just seems that the benefits of being NOFA accredited are just not what I had percieved them as being.

    I am considering cancelling all but the local memberships due to cost/benefit factors. It would save me almost 2000 a year on average. Not a small amount of money....

    Maybe I will keep the accredidation for at least one more year and see how things play out with the new laws.

    Sigh, I think Kiril may be on to something......
  10. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Is that the one in MA? that is not close. that is an overnite trip...

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