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.


2019 Andrew Rutherford Scholarship Recipient - Will Bailey-Elkin, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

My passion for the culinary arts is what led me to a career as an agriculturalist. After working as a cook in various restaurants in Winnipeg, Manitoba I decided to pursue a Bachelor Applied Science: Sustainable Agriculture, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is where I was taught the foundations of agroecological food production, and what spurred a deep commitment to sustainable agriculture.

I spent 2018 working at FortWhyte Farms, in Winnipeg. FortWhyte Farms is an educational farm for marginalized high school youth. Through small-scale market farming, the youth develop confidence, leadership skills, and work experience.

In the next year I would like to pursue a Masters of Science: Agriculture. During, and after my studies, I would like to work as a part-time organic inspector. This scholarship will allow me to stay connected to the organic sector, no matter where my agricultural career takes me.


2019 OCIS Recipient - Kul Dip Ghimire
Kerung (Rasuwa), Nepal

I am Kul Dip Ghimire from Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, a landlocked country located in South Asia.

Nepal is an agricultural country having more than 60 percent people directly engaged in farming. Farming is subsistent in nature and crop is mostly integrated with livestock. We grow rice, maize, millet, wheat, barley and buckwheat as the major staple food crops. Similarly, oilseeds, potato, tobacco, sugarcane, jute and cotton are the important cash crops whereas lentil, gram, pigeon pea, blackgram and soybean are the important pulse crops. Nepal is also famous for orthodox tea, large cardamom, ginger and turmeric, too. As the organic agriculture is gaining momentum in Nepal, it also possesses a great scope for its competitiveness. A significant area of agricultural land in Nepal is also organic by default.

I come from a family whose major profession is farming and as a MSc Agriculture (Plant Protection) student I had a strong inclination to IPM, sustainable, eco-friendly crop management and organic agriculture. I am working under Government of Nepal,  Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development for more than 20 years now. Basically I am Plant Protection specialist and working as a Senior Plant Protection Officer, and have worked in different offices under the Department of Agriculture at different capacities. Currently I am posted to Plant Quarantine Check-post, Kerung (Rasuwa) in the Nepal– China border as a Senior Plant Protection Officer under the Ministry.

I am a Master facilitator of IPM of Nepal. As a plant doctor I have conducted multiple plant clinic right from the starting phase of plant clinic in Nepal. Now I have set my priority to concentrate for my future carrier in the field of organic agriculture, built trust to the planners, farmers and consumers on it and play vital role for promotion of organic farming in Nepal. To achieve this goal, the first step is to maximize the farmers participation by providing the knowledge and processes of certification. So, I want to utilize my knowledge and ideas for those small farmers whose products have high demand in the market but are unable to afford the high certification cost.

I am very thankful and glad to the OCIS scholarship for providing me the opportunity to continue expanding my knowledge in the field of organic agriculture. I wish to become a crop organic inspector and I look forward to the crop organic inspector training in 2019.


The Deadline for returning Scholarship applications is October 1.

Scholarship recipients are notified by December 15.

Download .pdf applications for either scholarship program from the links below.

Para el español, chasque aqui.

Completed applications and queries can be emailed to: scholarship@ioia.net

How to fill out the scholarship application forms (Read this first!)
Rutherford Application
Rutherford Recommendation Form
OCIS Application
OCIS Recommendation Form