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NODPA depends on the memberships of farmers, consumers and businesses for support of all its efforts--regionally and in Washington--on behalf of the organic dairy farmers.

If you're an organic dairy farmer, consider one of the following: a milk check-off membership or an annual newsletter membership or choose your own level of annual dues to support NODPA. Learn more >

If you're a business
, consider our high-value business membership.

If you're an interested consumer or educator, look into our associate membership.

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NODPA’s Mission:

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.

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Payprice Summary Chart: 2006 to 2013

Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.

Organic Milk, Pay,
Retail and Feed Prices November 2017

Added March 27, 2018.

Sales of organic dairy fluid products in 2017 were flat compared to 2016. The average increase in sales in previous years had settled around 4% growth. However, total organic whole milk fluid sales for December 2017, 89 million pounds, were up 5.6 percent compared with December 2016, and up 6.2% annually compared with 2016. Unfortunately, total organic fluid sales for December 2017 were lower than December 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for January 2018, 96 million pounds, were up 11.0 percent compared with January last year. Total organic milk products sales for January 2018, 234   million pounds, were up 2.3 percent compared with January 2017.

For the full report please go to:

Pay Price March 2018

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.

5 Ways You
Can Support NODPA

Ten years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2014 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.

Recent Classifieds

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >


Dairy herd manager opening. We are a 35-cow organic, 100% grass-fed Jersey dairy. Manager will be responsible for 8-10 milkings/week, herd care, records, intensive pasture rotation management, calf care and records, herd health. Apartment on farm.
Added June 5, 2018.
Name: Larson Farm and Creamery
Phone: 802-645-0865
Location: Wells, VT

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) announces a job opening for an Executive Assistant. This position will serve as the primary point of contact and support for constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have education and experience in customer and/or executive support. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania; telecommuting will be considered. 

PCO is a growing non-profit organization that works with organic farmers and food producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. PCO provides organic certification services to more than 1000 operations and employs 30 staff and subcontracts with more than 30 field inspectors.  Our staff is dedicated to our mission: to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. 

Salary Grade 2: $47,500 - $58,000, depending on experience.

To view a job description visit:

Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.

Position will remain open until filled. Please send resume and cover letter to Added March 29, 2018.

Forage and Grains

For Sale: May & early June grass as 4X5 dry round or 4X4 individual baleage.  Delivery available from Ithaca in 14 bale loads within NYS. Added June 14, 2018.

Carl Crispell

Certified Organic Early June first and second cutting wrapped balage. $35/bale. 1st and 2nd dry hay as well. $35/bale. Will trade for dairy cattle. Added March 14, 2018.
Name: Kori Stay
Phone: 315 323 2855
Location: Gouverneur, NY


Full organic grassfed herd for sale. Dutch belted crosses. Fresh 1-2 months. Milking 45-70 pounds. Added March 18, 2018.
Name: Doug Murphy
Name: Joshua Grobelny
Phone: 3152249818
Location: Moravia, NY

80 nice organic cows and bred heifers for sale.  Mixed breed and crossbred herd.
Nice grazing farm could be leased. Added March 11, 2018.
Name: Doug Murphy
Phone: 7167613131
Location: Sherman  NY


For additional information on the events below, click here.

Advance Notice:
December 2 – 5, 2018
7th National Grazing Lands Conference: Taking the Gamble out of Grazing
Peppermill Resort and Casino, Reno, NV

Joe and Toni Borgerding in the nursery.

Joe and Toni Borgerding and Family
Borg-way Farm, Belgrade, Minnesota

“I started washing eggs when I was six and driving tractors at eight,” said Joe Borgerding, a 61-year old Minnesotan organic farmer. He prepped cows for milking until he was old enough to reach the pipeline. By age 19, his father was ready to hand him the reins to the 360-acre farm located near Belgrade, a small town in the central part of the state. As the 10th child of 12 with 8 older sisters, Joe embraced the challenge. To read more please go to:


Added March 27, 2018

Organic Certification, from the
Inspector’s Perspective:
An Interview with Arden Landis

What are your thoughts on the certification process, especially from an inspector’s point of view?

“One of the things I have observed is that agencies make their money by the farmers paying them to certify them. If farmers find one agency provides better services than another that is where they go. Some agencies are very efficient at determining if specific products are allowed in organic production. Some have more tedious paper work.
 If I see one real problem in the whole process, it is that the agencies make their money off the farmers they certify. They don’t want to lose farmers. If a certifier is too tough, farmers find out and they will move from one agency to another. I don’t know how you’re going to get around this. It is just the reality of the situation.”

For the full article please go to:


Anatomy of a Wet Year:
Insights from New York Farmers

Key Findings

  • The 2017 heavy rainfalls and flooding impacted farms across New York State.
  • Crops grown on clayey soils suffered an estimated 53% loss in crop yield and crops grown on gravelly, sandy or siltier soils suffered estimated crop yield losses of 25% or less.
  • In addition to yield losses, 95% of farmers said the quality of their crop was negatively impacted.
  • 30% of farmers said they would have increased their drainage infrastructure, including adding tiling and drainage ditches, if they had known how wet 2017 would be.

A wet spring, followed by higher than average precipitation and heavy rainfall events (e.g. the heaviest 1% of all daily rainfall events) during the 2017 growing season (NRCC) led to saturated soils and flooding on many farms throughout New York State (NY). The frequency of heavy rainfall events have already increased by 71% in NY over the last half century (NCA 2014), and this trend is predicted to continue in the future (Wuebbles et al. 2014). Given this, and to get a sense of how farmers were affected by these conditions, as well as how they coped, we surveyed farmers across NY State throughout September of 2017.

For the full article by Shannan Sweet, David Wolfe, and Rebecca Benner please go to:


Paul and Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Farm, Preble, NY

The NODPA listening Project:
Collecting the Voices of Organic Dairy

During the Annual NODPA Field Days last September, some producers felt that we needed a more direct approach to tell our story to consumers using social media.  So it was exciting to witness the creation of the NODPA Community Connection Committee, made up of NODPA members Liz Pickard, Annie Murray, and Sonja Heyck-Merlin. They have launched NODPA’s Listening Project where they will be capturing “Voices of Organic Dairy” on video and audio recordings.  These will be shared with the public through both NODPA’s and NOFA-NY’s Facebook pages, newsletters, and other social media platforms.  

The first recordings were made on March 6 at NOFA-NY’s Dairy and Field Crop Conference in Liverpool, NY.  Farmers were recorded in brief 3-minute clips, giving consumers an insight into our lives as organic dairy farmers. Read more about this project and some sampling of the quotes, please go to:


Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed Prices

Sales of organic dairy fluid products in 2017 were flat compared to 2016. The average increase in sales in previous years had settled around 4% growth. However, total organic whole milk fluid sales for December 2017, 89 million pounds, were up 5.6 percent compared with December 2016, and up 6.2% annually compared with 2016. Unfortunately, total organic fluid sales for December 2017 were lower than December 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for January 2018, 96 million pounds, were up 11.0 percent compared with January last year. Total organic milk products sales for January 2018, 234   million pounds, were up 2.3 percent compared with January 2017.

Producers report that base pay price in the Northeast is at $25 per hundredweight, and $21 in the West. Average farmgate pay price in the Northeast is $29.50 but will drop in the next few months with the spring deductions, even though the forecasted volumes are low for the ‘Spring Flush’. This compares to $36 per hundredweight in 2017. Upstate Niagara stands out as honoring its commitments to producers maintaining a pay price at around $35. The surplus of organic milk is now being more accurately described as a surplus of skim milk with a good demand for fat. Despite this surplus, the amount of organic product advertising in 2017 and 2018 has dropped extensively, and retail prices have increased in the last few months. This increase in retail price has resulted in a drop in producers’ share of the retail dollar down to 32%, the lowest since 2007.  

There are reports that CROPP will increase its payments for protein and fat this Fall to more accurately reflect market demand plus there are discussions of a cost-plus payments system for organic milk. Whose costs and how that is calculated is not yet known but it would fit in ideally to a form of margin insurance that is available to conventional producers but not to organic operations.

This data reflects the economic reality facing organic dairy producers across the country, with lower pay prices and producers losing their contracts. Reports from the Midwest are that smaller cooperatives and groups are losing their contracts to lower bids, especially for manufacturing milk, as competition increases and inventory of organic cheese grows. Some Midwest organic milk is being replaced by milk trucked from mega-dairies in Texas at prices that are lower than local organic milk despite trucking costs of up to   $5.00 per hundredweight. Processors with direct contracts with producers, for example Sorrento Lactalis, are reportedly dropping producers and seeking cheaper contracts. For the full report please go to:

Pay Price March 2018

SAVE THE DATE for the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days

The NODPA Board and State Representatives have announced that the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days will be held in Maryland for the first time. The 2-day NODPA Field Days will be held on September 27th and 28th in the Fredrick, Maryland area, although the specific location has not yet been identified. We are in the early stage of planning but are hoping to have two farm tours, and to learn much more about the opportunities and challenges of farming in the Mid-Atlantic region. Please stay tuned, there will be much more information in the May NODPA News.  

Added January 29, 2018

Forecast for Organic Dairy
in 2018 & Beyond:

Organic Dairy Producers' Thoughts on the Current State of Organic Dairy

NODPA was formed 17 years ago by organic producers when pay price first became an issue, so what better folks to ask the important questions about the future of the market and organic dairy family farms than organic dairy producers. While there may be a general, underlying trend there is no one reason behind the success and failure of family farms; each are different. We hope that the answers given by these producers will put the current crises in organic dairy in some perspective for each and every family. While the essence of organics is continuous improvement and investment, these next few years will be more like 2010-2013, but with higher costs of inputs. There will be little opportunity for investment in infrastructure and equipment or for improvements in the quality of life. Producers are resilient, but stubbornness must take second place to the reality of losing money over an extended period and the effect on family and quality of life. To read what these producers are thinking please go to:


Friends of the Earth & SumOfUs Producer Survey on the Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The last year and half has brought many changes to corporate control of the farming community. One of the biggest has been the wave of mergers sweeping through the major corporations many of whom producers rely upon for seeds and chemicals. Two major mergers have been completed (Dow & DuPont and Syngenta & ChemChina). One more is still pending: Monsanto and Bayer.

In November, producers met with Department of Justice (DOJ) about the Bayer-Monsanto merger. Those that attended the meeting heard from the DOJ that they are hearing from Bayer and Monsanto that producers are okay with the merger and that farmers don’t mind having limited choices. Producers at the meeting clarified that this is not necessarily the case and that they want choices in terms of seeds and pesticides. DOJ found this information extremely valuable.  As a follow-up, the Friends of the Earth and SumOfUs have put together a producer-specific survey regarding different aspects of the merger. We think the Department of Justice, as well as state attorneys general, will find this information extremely useful in the investigation.

Please help by taking the survey below. It will be used to inform policymakers and law enforcement officials in D.C. and in state capitals about the impact of corporate power on farming.

The survey:

  • is confidential and we will not know any personal information unless you choose to give it to us
  • will take about 12 minutes to complete
  • was designed to help DOJ and agriculture policy makers understand the structure of the market and how farmers make some key decisions

Link to the survey:

Please complete the survey by February 5th.

NOSB: Blast from the Past
& Today's Reality

From the first copy of the NODP News in July 2002 an excerpt from a report on the NOSB by John Cleary who was then the administrator of Vermont Organic Farms LLC (VOF).

“According to the NOP……Certification decisions can only be made based on the standards in the Final Rule, and not based on NOSB recommendations. This places the decision making power over changes to the standards in the hands of the USDA, rather than in the NOSB. While the NOSB was required to accept public comment, the USDA can make these policy decisions without any public input….. policy statements are crafted by NOP staff and are not subject to public comment.  NOSB member, Willie Lockeritz recently resigned from his position due to the frustration of continually having the NOP ignore the work of the NOSB.” 

Fast forward to 2018 and you realize nothing much has changed in the USDA’s approach to organic certification.
On January 25, 2018, the USDA issued a statement that, “Certification of hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic operations is allowed under the USDA organic regulations, and has been since the National Organic Program began.”
This pronouncement was made despite the ambiguous vote on the issue by the NOSB at their Fall 2017 meeting and the 2010 NOSB vote of 14 to 1 recommending that hydroponic production not be allowed to be certified organic. Unfortunately, the USDA National Organic Program did not act on that NOSB recommendation by writing a prohibition of hydroponic production into the organic standards. Even the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA)—the enabling legislation that created the National Organic Program—states that “An organic plan shall contain provisions designed to foster soil fertility, primarily through the management of the organic content of the soil through proper tillage, crop rotation, and manuring.” That statement of OFPA clearly does not allow for hydroponic production to be certified organic.

Some Republicans on the Agriculture Committee are keen to take away the powers and diversity of the NOSB but it seems that the USDA NOP is already doing that month by month. It now dictates their work plan, the agenda of their public meetings, and what they can and cannot discuss at the committee level and in full NOSB sessions. For a more detailed report on the Fall 2017 NOSB meeting, please go to


Organic Milk Pay, Retail & Feed Prices

The supply side of organic milk can be summed up by a quote from Stonyfield Farms in a letter sent to producers: “Unfortunately, at this time, Stonyfield (owned by Lactalis) remains committed to our existing producers, consumers and the New England dairy industry.  Stonyfield is not taking on any new dairy producers through 2018.”  None of the organic milk buyers are taking on new producers; all of them, with the exception of Upstate Niagara, are lowering the farmgate to the high $20’s and base price into the mid $20’s, and DanoneWave is sending 6 month notices of cancellation instead of renewing some contracts. Whole milk sales are expanding at a consistent 6.8% rate although non-fat milk has a drop of 1% in sales, making a 0.2% increase in total sales of organic milk January-October 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

Organic dairy has long known that there is a lack of consistency in implementing the access to pasture regulation and the one time exemption for transitioning operations. The lack of enforcement of these two regulations is part of the cause of the rapid increase in supply when pay prices were high. Large scale dairies, exploiting the loopholes, have rapidly expanded their herds, skewing the supply side of the organic dairy market. Another contributor to a drop in sales of non-fat organic milk product is the rise in sales of plant-based milk, with the Wall Street Journal reporting an increase of 2.9 percent in sales in 2017. The oversupply has been compounded because of a lack of processing facilities to make organic butter, powder and cheese due to an oversupply in the conventional market. For the full report please go to:

Pay Price January 2018

In Memorial

Bruce Drinkman's wife, Mari, passed away this past Christmas Eve. She has had leukemia for the last seven years but for those of you knew her she never let it show. In his NODPA News column Bruce dedicated these words to her:  “She has been a key part in my work to try to provide a better future for farmers. There were many times over the years when she would finish chores so I could make a conference call or make sure that I could get to a meeting whether near or far. She loved being a part of a movement that we could believe in. A movement we must continue. If we do not continue on this journey all of the hard work of people like her will be for naught. I for one will not quit. Her smile may be gone but definitely will not be forgotten.” Our sympathy to Bruce and our thanks for all his great work on behalf of producers.



NODPA, 30 Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342 FAX: 866- 554-9483 PHONE: 413 772 0444