To enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the well being of the organic dairy industry as a whole.
Payprice Summary Chart:
2006 to 2013
Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.Pay Price Update
Dairy farmers are concerned about how pay price is being tied to individual inputs along with producer efficiency. Horizon (WhiteWave) has continued its MAP of $3/cwt (which has been in place for over a year) to the end of 2013 based on the continuing high price of corn, which misses the point that all inputs have risen and the base price needs to increase. Stonyfield Farm will be holding another producer meeting in Maine to continue their investigation about their own pool of milk in the Northeast complete with an array of experts that can help producers become more ‘efficient’. Producers across the globe have heard this before and many are insulted that these experts (mostly from academia) can tell them how to farm and cut their costs.
For pay price details, click here.
Feed Price Update
Corn and Soybean prices are generally running under 2012 levels but hay and forage are higher, especially in the Midwest where the weather has followed an unpredictable roller coaster of extremes. While the contracted prices are lower there is no thought or indication that these slightly lower prices will be passed on to producers who purchase pelleted feed or roasted soymeal. In the northeast 2012 had a summer drought that burnt up the pastures and cut the yields on field crops and hay and 2013 has seen excess rainfall causing late planting and delayed harvesting but the pastures are still growing. Corn yields in the East are generally predicted to be higher than those in Central US but concerns of an early frost and late planting makes predictions difficult.
For more details, click here.
Check Out All The Businesses Supporting NODPA's Work
Over 20 businesses have signed up for our business membership directory, helping support our newsletter, web site, advocacy work, and more. Check them out.
Added in September and October, 2013
Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >
Dairy farm wanted
(Added December 4, 2013)
We are a family with one young child, looking for a dairy farm to rent or lease in Vermont. We are looking for a farm with a house nearby for our family, dairy facilities and enough grazing and hay land for at least 40 cows.
We have farming experience and good references.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-317-3916
Farm for Lease
(Added October 28, 2013)
The Vermont Land Trust seeks long-term partnership with an organization or individual to manage or lease a 180-acre farm (approximately 100 tillable) in Jeffersonville, VT. House with 50-cow barn milking setup (funding available for improvements). All types of agricultural plans considered. Sound resource management plan required and community connection or educational component desired. For more information, www.vlt.org/westfarm, or call Nick Richardson at 802.262.1214.
Certified Organic Holstein Dairy Herd for Sale (Added October 18, 2013)
38 first calf heifers, all preg-checked and bred back. Many calves as well; both heifers and bulls. High quality milk; average SCC is 75,000. Looking to sell as whole herd; priced reasonably. Located in New Sweden, Maine 04762.
Contact Joshua Turnbull, Phone: 207-227-1353, Email: email@example.com
25 Certified Organic Holstein Dairy Cows (Added October 18, 2013)
10 dairy cows with DHIA records, and 15 heifers breeding age to springing for sale. Located in Central Minnesota.
Contact Chris Weaver, Phone: 320-630-5143, or write to: 25866 County Rd 14, Browerville, Minnesota 56438
2.5 year old New Zealand Friesan/Jersey A2A2 bull for sale from seasonal grass based dairy. Too many other bulls on the farm is the only reason for sale. Call Jim 607-591-0562 Cortland, NY. Added September 11, 2013.
100% Grass Fed Certified Organic Dairy Cattle. Milking Devon crosses, Short Horn and New Zealand Frisian grass fed organic seasonal herd, calving May through June. Call for more details at 802-888-4482. Added September 11, 2013.
Name: John Clark, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 802-888-4482
Location: Hyde Park, VT
30 Cow dairy herd with 22 head of young stock (one week to springing heifers). Closed herd for fifteen years, Accelerated Genetics Young Sire bred cows and Registered Holstein bulls bred to the heifers. Two years Johnes Free certified, grass fed with a little grain. No silages fed. Yearly hoof care. DHIA tracked for the full fifteen years. Certified Organic with ICS. Westby, WI. Paul at 608-397-2808. Added September 11, 2013.
Dexter/dairy cross cows. Two in milk now, two 4 mos.old heifer calves. Certified organic, closed herd. Grass-fed. These are hardy animals ideal for cheese making. $3000 for all obo. Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: John O'Meara
Location: New Sweden, ME
Forage & Grains
First Cut Square Bales for sale: Hay did not get rained on. Broome, timothy, legume mix, would be good for dry cows, horses and heifers. Bales weigh approximately 35# each, certified by NOFA-NY. If interested call or email for price and other info: Bill Stine, phone:(315) 430-0465; Email: tstine2007@YAHOO.COM. Added October 28, 2013.
Hay for sale: 4 x 4 wrapped round bales, certified organic and conventional, southern Vermont. Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: Phillip Cutting
Location: Guilford, Vermont
Looking for first cut organic timothy hay for paso finos in northern Mass.
Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: Kim Rudolf
Good quality organic baleage and dry hay with no rain for sale. Priced reasonably. 4x4 bales call for more details. 412-580-9692 or email@example.com
Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: Steve Magan
Organic hay for sale from the upcoming hay season. Mix of timothy and clover. Round bales on the field 25.00. Haylage is possible. Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: Shane Provencher, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 802-744-4019, Location: North Troy VT
1st cutting 4 x 4 dry round bales - Good quality $50 bale, Medium Quality - $40 bale.
Forage tests available. Call for 2nd/3rd cutting availability and pricing.
Added September 11, 2013.
Contact Ted Cunningham at 518-965-3936, Albany, NY area
1st cutting 4 x 4 oatlage and grass balage forages - $50 bale
Call for 2nd/3rd cutting availability and pricing. Contact Dan at 518-329-5555 or DROTHVOSS@HOTMAIL.COM - Albany area. Added September 11, 2013.
Dry hay: square and round bales:
1st cutting small square bale hay - $3.50 per bale or $175 ton (15% moisture,)approx 40lb bales;
1st cutting large square bales (3' x 3' x 7') - $75 bale or $175 ton (15% moisture).
1st cutting dry round bales - 5 x 4 1000lbs @ $35 (limited quantity)
1st cutting dry round bales 4 x 4 - 650lbs @ $25 - Harpersville area
All square bale hay is stored in doors. Forage tests available. Call for 2nd/3rd cutting availability and pricing. Added September 11, 2013.
Contact Tony at 607-657-8534 farm, 315-378-5180 cell, or email@example.com
Feed, Seed, and Bedding: NOFA-NY Certified Organic –Feed: Baleage (Alfalfa 1st, 2nd, & 3rd cut, Clover 1st & 2nd cut, Oatlage), Feed Wheat, Dry Hay (4x4 Round) Seed: Rye, Wheat (HRW), Timothy, Clover Bedding: Straw and Bedding Hay (4x4 Round).
Added September 11, 2013.
Contact Jeff @ Mitchell Farms 607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com (Avoca, NY)
First Cut Hay: 1st cut dry rounds of timothy, brome and orchard grass mix. Bale size is 48"W x 54" Tall. Price is $40.00 per bale. Can accommodate tractor-trailers. Located in Maryland, NY; 8 minutes from I-88. Added September 11, 2013.
Contact Erik Nichols at 607-267-9338 - Erik Nicol.
Certified Organic Oat Straw: about 8 tons in 45# square bales. Price by the ton is $145 or $130/ton if you purchase it all. Conact: Dan Delagrange by snail mail (he is an Amish farmer) and include your phone number and he can call you and answer questions, etc.
Dan Delagrange, 6304 Shader Hill Rd, Prattsburgh, NY 14873. Added September 11, 2013.
The Vermont Land Trust seeks long-term partnership with an organization or individual to manage or lease a 180-acre farm (approximately 100 tillable) in Jeffersonville, VT. House with 50-cow barn milking setup (funding available for improvements). All types of agricultural plans considered. Sound resource management plan required and community connection or educational component desired. For more information, www.vlt.org/westfarm, or call Nick Richardson at 802.262.1214. Added Sept.30, 2013.
The Livestock Apprenticeship at Hawthorne Valley Farm provides the foundational knowledge for beginning farmers to pursue a career in animal husbandry. The central focus of this apprenticeship is the management of a biodynamic dairy herd. The applicant must have spent one full season on a production farm and also must have experience working with livestock. Experience with cows (dairy, beef, or draft) is highly encouraged.
For this position a 2-year commitment is preferred. The first year is focused on herd management. The second year emphasizes forage management (including harvest) and equipment use & maintenance.
Activities of the Livestock Apprentice include:
•Milking cows 6-10 times weekly and acting as lead-milker in the afternoon
•The general maintenance of barn
•Setting up fencing for the daily rotation of cows
•Overseeing and delegating tasks to whole farm apprentices and the Visiting Students Program
•Ensuring the daily feeding of young stock and pigs
•Assisting in calving and vet checks
•Participating in testing for cow health and milk quality
•Monitoring cow and calf health including administering homeopathic treatments
•Maintaining pig pastures and indoor housing
This apprentice must also work well with others, be organized, be able to multitask, and enjoy working in all outdoor conditions.
Please see our website hawthornevalleyfarm.org
Added September 11, 2013.
Contact: Hawthorne Valley Farm
Phone: 518.672.7500 x 237
Location: Ghent NY
Farm Auction, September 20: (Added September 11, 2013.) Selling 725 acres of certified organic farmland including mineral rights, the dairy complex with houses, all farm machinery, and a large selection of organic forage & grain both already harvested and in the field. Here is our website with information about the sale:
http://kimvale.com/auction.html, Steve Kimball, firstname.lastname@example.org, 716-397-8561 (cell)
For additional information on the events below, click here.
November 17-18, 2013
Iowa Organic Conference
Iowa City, Iowa
Monday, November 25th
How Profitable is Your Livestock Operation?
Bath Civil Defense Center; 7220 State Route 54; Bath, NY
November 29, 2013
Central Livestock Sales Barn,| Albany, Minn.
December 2, 2013
Webinar: Overview of Farm Legal Issues
6 p.m., Madison, Wis.
December 12 – 14, 2013
Acres U.S.A. Conference and Trade Show
Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, Illinois
January 10 - 11, 2014
Minnesota Organic Farming Conference
St. Cloud, Minnesota
January 11, 2014
27th Annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
January 17-18, 2014
18th Annual VT Grazing & Livestock Conference
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
January 22-25, 2014
The 34th Annual EcoFarm Conference
Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA
January 24-26, 2014
NOFA NY 32nd Annual Winter Conference: ‘Preserving the Past Seeding the Future’
Saratoga Hilton and City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY.
February 1-2, 2014
12th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference: “We Are All Farmers: Seeding a Common Soil”
Rundlett Middle School, Concord, NH
February 5-8, 2014
PASA’s 23rd Annual Farming For The Future Conference
State College, PA
February 15-17, 2014
NOFA-VT Winter Conference
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
February 19 – 20, 2014
Champlain Valley Cover Crop and No-Till Symposium
Organic Dairy Farming for Quality of Life
Added November 18, 2013. “When our oldest son was born we were living on a farm that was conventionally managed. At eight months old he was diagnosed with cancer. While no actual reason was ever given for him getting cancer we always questioned whether the fact that the well for the farm, which was in the middle of a cornfield, had something to do with it. This along with many other life observations, have led to organic farming.” This is how Doug Morse describes his family’s decision to farm organically. The Morse family own 496 acres of which 120 is tillable, 100 is permanent pasture, and most of the remainder is woods. They rent a little over 200 acres pasture our heifers on 50 acres of rented land. For more of their story in their own words, please go to:
ADDED November 18, 2013
The War of Words in the fight for organic integrity and less synthetics in organics
On September 16th the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a Federal register notice changing the process that is used to decide whether prohibited substances can continue to be used in organic production (the Sunset process). This change took effect immediately on September 17th with no allowance for public comment about the change in policy.
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) provides for Sunset Review under SEC. 2118 U.S.C. 6517 NATIONAL LIST. (e) SUNSET PROVISION.- “No exemption or prohibition contained in the National List shall be valid unless the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has reviewed such exemption or prohibition as provided in this section within 5 years of such exemption or prohibition being adopted or reviewed and the Secretary has renewed such exemption or prohibition.” It clearly states that no exemption or prohibition contained in the National List of products allowed in organic production shall be valid unless the National Organic Standards Board has reviewed and renewed the exemptions or prohibitions. From 2005 to the present the NOP policy indicated that the NOSB needed to act to keep synthetics on the National List at the time of their Sunset; without action by the NOSB, those exemptions and prohibitions would expire. The new policy adopted by the NOP effectively allows a material to be reviewed by the NOSB and its sub-committees at the time of sunset. The substance would remain on the list unless there is a two-thirds majority to remove it. This significantly lowers the bar for removing synthetics from organic.
This decision by NOP provoked protests from producers, consumers and environmentalists but found support from some industry representatives, most notably the new President of the Organic Trade Association and VP Policy and Industry Relations United Natural Foods (UNFI), Melody Meyer.
The NOP has explained that they face many administrative hurdles in rulemaking and that this change will enable them to move the process forward more quickly. Many producer, environmental and consumer groups fear that this will again weaken the power of the NOSB and turn it into just another USDA advisory committee doing the bidding of the department. Some fear that is part of the slow decline of the organic standards in the pursuit of more sales and that organic will soon be just another label lacking integrity with sales of product supported by purchase of imported raw materials. Most worrying is the method that the NOP adopted to make these changes. There was no consultation with all constituency groups either formally or informally which breaks the long tradition that has prevailed since the 1990’s. Consumer groups have felt marginalized and its no secret who buys our organic products (consumers) and who they rely on to inform and educate them about their integrity (consumer groups). Maintaining the integrity of the organic seal is especially important for groups like dairy that rely on bulk sales in a highly competitive market. In order to work together, all groups need to be involved at the beginning of the process, not informed of the result and told to get on board.
For the National Organic Coalition’s take on the issue: http://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/
For the opinions of consumer and environmental groups (Joint Statement of Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety), a Blog post by Melody Meyer, (Stop the Lies and get behind your National Organic Program), followed by a letter by Jim Riddle, past Chair of the NOSB and one of the leaders of the organic community, please go to:
NODPA launches its First Fundraising Campaign: “GOT MONEY – NODPA NEEDS SOME OF IT”
Do you want to support balance in organic decision-making by ensuring that producers have a voice? NODPA provides that with its bimonthly print newsletter; it’s ODairy Listserv; it’s annual Field Days; its comprehensive and regularly updated website and its membership of the National Organic Coalition, National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition and Organic Trade Association. NODPA takes producer concerns to Washington, to industry, to the media and to consumers and environmental groups and, as an independent organization; it acts as a voice for all producers in a marketplace dominated by industry.
We keep costs to a minimum but there are still bills to pay. NODPA has launched its first fundraising campaign, and we ask you to send in your donation today to support all of these resources and services that we all need and value.
“NODPA supporters are dedicated organic farmers and industry professionals; hard-working, committed to the principles of organic farming and focused on operating their businesses in the most efficient and informed way possible,” said organic dairy producer and NODPA Board President Liz Bawden, “We work long hours and have come to expect reliable information delivered in the most convenient manner possible, and NODPA delivers.”
You can donate online at
Please contact Nora Owens at email@example.com or call 413-772-0444 if you have questions or need assistance. Thank you for your support!
2013 NODPA Field Days
The 2013 NODPA Field Days was a great success with perfect weather, fantastic speakers, an exceptional keynote address, informative workshops, lots of exhibitors, and delicious food prepared and served by the women of the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall.
The producer meeting provided some fresh ideas and direction for NODPA in the coming year, and the Keynote address, by organic dairy farmer, Kevin Engelbert, gave a sobering look at where the organic milk market is heading. His frank and truthful appraisal of the industry only made the ideas discussed at the producer meeting more appropriate and necessary as next action steps. For more on the Field Days and many, many pictures, please go to
Our friend and Maine organic dairy farmer Ralph Caldwell drastic and dramatic loss
Ralph or Raz Caldwell and his family suffered a loss of two of his barns and some equipment on September 29,2013 when fire broke out at the Caldwell Family Farm. Due to the lack of fire hydrants at the rural location, tankers supplied water to the scene and trucks were used to pump water from a small pond down the road. Friends, family and neighbors helped move all the 130 animals out of the barns so that none were lost. The barn itself was built in 1959.
To contribute to the fund for the Caldwell family please send donations to: Maine Organic Milk Producers, c/o Mary Castonguay, 39 Richmond Hill Road, Livermore, ME 04253. Please make donations payable to Maine Organic Milk Producers. For more information:
Feed and Pay Price Updates
USDA Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) reports that total fluid sale for organic milk was up again for September 2013; 192 million pounds, which is 10.4% higher than September last year and 5.3% higher than 2012 year to date, with whole milk showing the biggest increase. Organic half gallons retail price is averaging 40 cents lower than 2012 at $3.48.
USDA AMS reported national organic grain and feedstuff prices were holding steady as the harvest season for corn and soybeans comes to an end. Demand for feed grade corn and soybeans remains good as the industry waits to see what yields are nationally with initial yields being higher than expected. Corn for June thru August delivery is being priced at $11 per bushel; about $4 per bushel lower than last year. There are variable reports across the country as to supply and price of organic feed, plus which feed mills contracted ahead and at what prices.
For more details on pay price and retail sales please go to:
For an update of Feed prices please go to:
The 2013 NODPA Field Days was a great success with perfect weather, fantastic speakers, an exceptional keynote address, informative workshops, lots of exhibitors, and delicious food prepared and served by the women of the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall. Thank you to all our Sponsors, Supporters, Exhibitors, Speakers, attendees, and donors of food and door prizes. The Farm Tour took place in bright sunshine after the morning mist cleared and Field Days participants returned to the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall for the rest of the two day program. Speakers over the next couple days covered subjects including ‘Applying Whole Farm Planning to Your Farm’, Our Keynote Address: ‘The Future of Organic Dairy’, ‘Sprouted Grains’, ‘Farm Bill, Policy and Washington DC’, ‘Ask the Vet’, and Multi-Species Cover Cropping’.
Stay tuned for the November NODPA Newsletter, where we will provide more details and highlights. We have posted some photographs from the event on our 2013 NODPA Field Days web page:
Feed & Pay Price Updates
Any gathering of organic dairy producers always comes around to the question of pay price and the topic dominated discussions at the NODPA Field Days. At this year’s Field Days Kevin Engelbert gave an excellent key-note speech which pulled no punches about the reality of the situation and the need for producers to take action.
The producer meeting on Friday morning was dominated by concern about how pay price is being tied to individual inputs along with producer efficiency. Horizon (WhiteWave) has continued its MAP of $3/cwt (which has been in place for over a year) to the end of 2013 based on the continuing high price of corn, which misses the point that all inputs have risen and the base price needs to increase. Stonyfield Farm will be holding another producer meeting in Maine to continue their investigation about their own pool of milk in the Northeast complete with an array of experts that can help producers become more ‘efficient’. Producers across the globe have heard this before and many are insulted that these experts (mostly from academia) can tell them how to farm and cut their costs.
Perhaps if Stonyfield, Organic Valley and Horizon (WhiteWave) allowed business professionals and producers to examine their operations to evaluate them against the most efficient in their industry and suggest ways they could become more efficient and cut their costs, then producers would be more open to sharing their business records and production systems. Stonyfield still has yet to name a pay price for the milk they will purchase as part of their proposed pool of organic raw milk but have promised to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to proceed with purchasing milk directly from producers rather than from Organic Valley. In July Organic Valley informed producers of a 100% base quota (they proposed only paying full price for the base production agreed between the company and producer) with a $12.00 per cwt deduct for milk produced over that quota each month starting with October 1st 2013. At the September Organic Valley Board of Directors meeting, the quota was rescinded and all winter bonus payments were left in place ($3.00/cwt for December, January and February). Some say milk supplies are long, some short. Organic fluid milk sales are growing steadily with some strong competition in the dairy case in the Northeast, including increasingly from MOO Milk from Maine.
For more details on pay price and retail sales please go to:
For an update of Feed prices please go to:
The 2013 Field Day started with the traditional farm tour at the Simpson farm where Ann Adams of Holistic Management International facilitated the morning event. Kress Simpson gave a short history of the farm, including the changes that were made over 20 years ago as a result of being exposed to the principles of Holistic Management. For more on Kress’s farm please go to: ff_march_2013.shtml. On the farm tour Mike Geiser, owner of the dairy cows, answered questions about the 2013 grazing season and how he moves his cows on the pasture, and Kress gave a broader scope of the crop land and family farm history. Discussions in the pasture were lively covering the benefits of plant species diversity, determining the amount of feed in your pasture (average height and available dry matter per acre), determining the daily forage needs of the herd, learning how to use the NRCS grazing stick, and much more.
Planning with the Next Generation in Mind – a Whole Farm Approach to Succession Planning
Ann Adams, Director, Community Services at Holistic Management International (HMI) writes about the benefits of incorporating a value centered decision-making and planning process that focuses on a triple bottom line in succession planning and farm transfer. With an estimated 70% of farms in the US changing hands in the next 20 years and over 500,000 farmers retiring, the future of agriculture in the US is based on whether family farms can transition from one generation to the next. Inevitably the quality of life for producers and their families, especially those that milk cows, is a significant factor in who can be attracted to farm, an occupation that requires a wide variety of skills and strength of character. In her article, Anne provides a road map for decision making with many practical examples. To read the whole article please go to:
Odairy Live! Ask the Vet Q & A
Susan Beal, DVM and PASA Agriculture Advisor, Pittsburgh, PA and A.J. Luft, DVM, Chickasaw, OH had a lively and very interactive session at the 2013 NODPA Field Days. The two veterinarians complemented each other in answering questions from the audience and those submitted through email and the web. The quality of advice was practical, intelligent and based on their on-farm experience. There were no punches pulled or equivocations about their personal preference or the responsibility that they feel to the animals, producers and the integrity of organic production.
If you want to be part of the NODPA supported and sponsored very active and highly informative list serve please go to: http://www.nodpa.com/list_serv.shtml
The most recent issue of the NODPA News has an article that summarizes the last few months of questions and topics on ODairy, written by NODPA’s President, Liz Bawden. The latest article includes an in-depth conversation about balancing of rations, farm equipment, buying quality seed and salvaging hay after it had had 6 inches of rain on it! To read the rest of the article please go to:
Making Sound Decisions
Using Holistic Management
By Dr. Susan Beal
“Interestingly, there is rarely an argument about the “how do you want it to be” parts of things. In farms, families and businesses – and individuals - the debate and dissention typically comes from the “how to get there” portion of things – the tasks, not the actual holistic goal/the holistic context. So, folks argue about whether to have black cows or brown cows, about whether to dairy or raise hogs, about whether to certify organic, about whether to add heirloom tomatoes or chickens or soap-making to the task list. Folks rarely debate about the larger context, the “how do you want it to be” part of things.” To read more about Susan’s personal experience in using Holistic management in her decision making (she is Canadian, but don’t hold that against her!) please go to:
Kevin Engelbert is the key note speaker at the Pig Roast Banquet and NODPA Annual meeting at the NODPA Field Days on September 26 and 27, 2013.
5 Ways You Can Support NODPA
Eight and a half years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2009 NODPA is the only organization whose mission is to represent the interest of organic dairy producers no matter who they sell their milk to.
Click here for a summary of the many ways you can support NODPA and the farmers it represents.
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