Annual Requirements

Producers are authorized to use the CNG name and logo and receive our marketing materials only after their application is accepted and the three core requirements are completed.

To maintain CNG certification, producers must fulfill these core requirements annually. 


Membership dues 

We recommend $200, $250, $300 or more. It's up to each member to determine the exact amount that's right for their farm. We offer several sustainer plans, starting at $17/month, to make it easy to pay the recommended amount in smaller monthly installments automatically with a credit card or your bank's Bill Pay service. CNG is powered by the grassroots, not corporate conglomerates. The minimum amount to be considered paid is $150. Farmers may tap the Grassroots Fund for dues assistance if they're facing unusual hardship or just getting started.

An exception is granted for beekeepers, who must pay some amount, but to accommodate hobbyists, we don't require a waiver for lower amounts.

Pay dues in our CNG store or by check. Dues must be paid within one month after your application is accepted, and annually thereafter, by the end of February.



Your signature on the Declaration indicates you understand and accept the terms of participating in the CNG program. Your signed Declaration will be posted on your online profile. It is due within one month of your application being accepted. With livestock certification, a Livestock Feed Form is also required. Declarations for all certification types are on the CNG Forms page.



All farms must arrange an on-site Inspection to take place within two growing season months of the date when their application is accepted, and then annually. Inspections are done by other CNG farmers. For full details, review the Inspection Forms and Guidelines

Use the Find Inspection searchable map to locate CNG farmers near you who are eligible to inspect your farm and due to fulfill this annual work requirement.

Search results are designed to adhere to our Inspection Guidelines. Please note there is a strict rule against trading inspections in subsequent years, and repeatedly using the same inspector year after year. In some circumstances there's flexibility with these rules by including one or two Community Observers.

The Work Requirement: Conducting a Peer Review

CNG is powered by the active participation of our members. All certified producers are required to conduct a peer review annually. This is an aspect of CNG that many farmers most appreciate. The work requirement is waived if there is not another CNG producer within an hour's drive who needs an inspection. It is prohibited to "trade" inspections with the person who inspected your farm or apiary. 

You can use the Give Inspection searchable map to find out which farms near you, of the same certification type, are due for a CNG inspection, so you can reach out and fulfill your work requirement. We encourage new members instead to sign up to observe a remote inspection, rather than conduct an inspection, when invited to do so. Observing enables you to learn the ropes and also fulfill the work requirement.

For a visual representation of the annual certification process, check out our Certification Flow Chart.

Record Keeping

This is something that you should do in your own way. The observations you record today will help you plan tomorrow. We simply ask that you maintain records of the following items in one convenient folder for your inspector to quickly and easily access. Copies should not be sent to us.

  1. Receipts and orders of the following: seed and transplant orders; any purchased soil amendment items (off farm compost, rock powders, pre-mixed Organic Fertilizers, etc.); and any purchased botanical and biological pesticides (Bt, Sulfur, insecticidal soap, etc.)
  2. An updated copy of your application. This was emailed to you when it was accepted by us, or updated by you. It can also be printed from your online profile.
  3. Farmers that use chelated micronutrients to correct a soil deficiency must have soil tests from within the past twelve months that specifically note the deficiency.
  4. Producers with Mushroom or Aquaponic certification will have additional record keeping requirements, which are defined in the standards for those programs. 

That's it! Now you can get back to the REAL work of running your farm!