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NODPA Needs YOU

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.

You can now make easy, secure online credit card payments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

NODPA NEWS & NOTES

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:
Pay price moves
up slowly as sales increase and
shortages continue

Added March 10, 2015. USDA AMS reports increase in retail sales of organic fluid milk in 2014 were up by 9.2% over sales in 2013, and total U.S. organic milk products’ sales as a percentage of total conventional milk products’ sales has trended up annually, from 1.92% in 2006 to 5.2% in 2014. This increase in demand has seen shortages on the shelves and a small increase in base pay price. How do you increase the volume of organic milk, feed or any other raw material – raise the price that producers are paid.  Over 60% of organic grains that are used in the US are imported and now we have imported organic cheese and milk powder plus imported beef manufactured trim from three continents co-mingled to make generically branded organic ground beef. The reason for the importation is partly due to availability and partly on price.For more, go to:

feed_payprice_update_
03102015.shtml


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.

Recent Classifieds

Added in April and May2015

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >

Animals

For Sale: Organic dairy herd Holstein Red and White and Black and white and a few Brown Swiss. Asking $2000 per head. Please call; don't check e-mail often. If no answer leave message; will call back. Heifers also for sale. Added May 20, 2015.
Contact: Jane Zeller
Email: zeller2@cit-tele.com
Phone: 315-681-8331
Location: Hammond New York

For Sale: Jersey heifer calves, certified organic by NOFA-NY.
Added May 15, 2015.
Contact: Bradley and Kathryn Kent
Email: butterfieldfarm@hotmail.com
Phone: 518-521-0496
Location: Burke, NY

Two year old open, polled, dairy devon cross heifer for sale for $800, and a six month old brown swiss cross heifer for sale for $500. Both are certified organic (GOA) and 100 percent grassfed. My phone number is 607-336-3656 and I'm in South New Berlin, NY. Contact: Heidi Tafel. Added April 21, 2015.

Events

For additional information on the events below, click here.

June 2, 2015, 2 p.m.
Webinar: Mitigating Soil Disturbance in Organic Systems

June 3rd - 8th, 2015 
Widen Your World with Dowsing: The 55th National Convention
Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont

June 6, 2015 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
FARMING WITH BENEFICIAL INSECTS: ORGANIC PEST CONTROL
Rodale Institute, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA, 19530

June 10, 2015
FarmStarts – Beginning Farmers Explore Production, Business and Marketing,
Alexandria, Minnesota
  

June 17, 2015, 1 p.m. Central
Webinar: Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture -- Biodiversity (Free)

June 17, 2015
MAKING MILK ON GRASS
Stone Mill Dairy, 5626 Reservoir Road, Earlville, NY 13332
11:00am-3:30pm (Lunch provided)

June 17-19, 2015
Midwest Farm Energy Conference
Morris, Minnesota

June 18, 2015
Ready to Roll? New Field Research on Organic No-Till Soybean with Rolled-Crimped Cover Crops
Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd, Aurora, NY 13026 6:00pm-8:00pm

June 27 2015 - June 28 2015, Saturday and Sunday, 9am–4pm
Women in Farming — Weekend Intensive Just Roots
Greenfield, MA

June 30, 2015 9:00 am
How to Improve Soil with Grazing-Ian Mitchell-Innes Field Day
John Meulenberg’s Farm, 667 Puseyville Road, Kirkwood, PA

July 17-19, 2015
2015 Seed Saver Exchange Conference & Campout
Heritage Farm, Decorah, IA  

July 30, 2015
2015 Kneading Conference
Skowhegan State Fairgrounds, Madison Avenue, Skowhegan, ME 04976

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 
2015 Soil Health Train-the-Trainer Workshop
Emerson Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY

August 14-15, 2015
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference
UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA

September 16-18, 2015
Generations of Opportunity: Sun and Water, Sons and Daughters
Mt. Pleasant, MI 

September 27 & 28, 2015
MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, ME

 

 


The Nathan and Kristine Weaver Family’s Grünen Aue Farm, Canastota, New York

Grünen Aue Farm of Canastota, New York, a seasonal all-grass, no-grain dairy, takes its name from a section of Psalm 23: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me besides the still waters.” Grünen Aue, which translates to green pastures in the Amish tongue, is owned and operated by Nathan and Kristine Weaver and family. The farm is located about 35 miles east of Syracuse and is comprised of 132 acres, with about one half of the acreage in pasture/hay ground.  Adjoining the farm are another roughly 60 acres of rented ground. Their pastures are mostly native species.  They have increased their herd size from 30 milkers to about 55 since 2006 and plan to level off at 60. Excluding calf milk and milk diverted for home use, their annual production per cow is about 9,000 pounds with an average SCC of 250,000, 5.0 butterfat, 3.4 protein and 5.65 other solids.  Their milk goes to Organic Valley’s grass-milk pool which was newly established in their region in October of 2014. For the full article, please go to:

ff_march_2015.shtml

Farmers Union Scholarship
Looks to Agriculture's Future

Scholarship Deadline Extended to June 30, 2015

The education foundation of the New England Farmers Union is offering a $500 scholarship to a student who will study agriculture at a 2-year or 4-year accredited institution this fall. The scholarship enables Farmers Union to develop the next generation of farmer leaders who will succeed in agriculture and advocate for family farmers. The deadline has been extended to June 30, 2015.

Farmers Union is a member-driven organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, fishermen, and their customers through educational opportunities, co-operative endeavors and civic engagement. It was founded in 2006 as a regional member of the National Farmers Union (NFU), an agricultural advocacy organization founded in 1902 and based in Washington, D.C.

Each applicant must be a Farmers Union member, or the child of a member, to qualify. Student memberships cost $25, and joining is easy on our website. Information about the scholarship, including the application, which is due June 30, 2015, is at:

www.newenglandfarmersunion.org/scholarship

The winner will be announced July 31. Other Farmers Union education initiatives include sending members each year to NFU's College Conference on Co-operatives, Beginning Farmer Institute, Legislative Fly-Ins to Washington, D.C., and an annual conference for women farmers.


Added April 8, 2015

Organic Trade Association (OTA) Published Version number 6 of their Organic Check-off proposal and some answers to NODPA Questions

An organic check-off will affect all organic certificate holders, from producers selling in farmers market to the board room of conglomerates. As such, all organic certificate holders should have a vote on establishing an organic check-off. This can be done by a proposal to the USDA AMS that assesses all organic certificate holders. IF a check-off is set up, the governing Board of the check-off will be appointed by the Secretary and will then set the level of assessments and opt-in/opt-out criteria as mandated by the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Generic Act).
The current proposal by OTA will restrict voting rights to establish a check off to self-determined (especially in mixed operations that market directly to wholesalers or through several handlers) economic criteria and those that choose to ask for a certificate to OPT-IN to the check-off. There will be no central list to verify and validate who qualifies to meet these criteria. All those that want to vote would have to apply for a ballot and receive it by mail. All these criteria and processes will restrict who votes in a referendum and, given the economic demographics of organic certificate holders there may well be less than 30% of certificate holders eligible to vote, you would only need 51% of those that vote out of the 30% to establish an organic check-off. This may mean that a tiny percentage of certificate holders will establish an organic check-off.
Other points from Version 6 of the OTA proposal:

  • Assessed entities: No $100 dollar annual membership. Under the new proposal all certificate holders (except retailers) are covered by the order/check-off. There are no exemptions from the order/check-off. There are two types of assessments; one is voluntary and one is mandatory. For those under $250,000 gross organic revenue the assessment will be voluntary and under the OTA proposal they will have to opt in prior to any referendum on setting up a check-off in order to vote. OTA defines gross organic revenue as “total gross sales in organic products.” Organic producers with over $250,000 in self-declared gross organic revenue are mandatorily assessed and shall have the option of paying one-tenth of one percent of either (A) net organic sales or (B) producer net profit. Net profit and net organic sales will be self-declared and paid directly to the Board by the individual producer. Approximately 70% of certificate holders are under the $250,000 threshold and will have to opt in to vote on setting up an organic check-off.
  • Opt-in: Those organic producers who choose to opt in would need to do it on an annual basis.
  • Definitions: OTA’s definition of net organic sales: means total gross sales in organic products minus the cost of certified organic ingredients, feed, and inputs used in the production of organic products.  And producer net profit: means organic producer income received from organic products less the associated production expenses excluding fixed non-cash costs. So many questions on what these may mean - how these can be verified, and by whom - this isn't currently in certifier documents, nor income tax, nor FSA reporting.  Will organic dairy farmers who grow their own feed be allowed to deduct full feed cost (including the rent of land – cash cost), as if they had purchased all of it?
  • Exemption from conventional check-off $: The majority of organic dairy/corn/soybean producers would have to opt in to the organic check-off on an annual basis to avoid paying into the conventional check-off at the higher rates. Once the organic check-off is set up there will be no exemptions from paying into the conventional check-off program.
  • Retailers will not be assessed.
  • Spending Check-off Taxes: With the change in producer assessments to a net farm income model, the current projection is closer to $30- 35 million per year in total income to the check-off program instead of the $40 million previously projected at the outset. IF $30 million is raised, $4.5 million will go to the Board to administer the program and pay salaries; $4 million will go to administer the grants using check-off monies that the Board will recommend; an undetermined amount of the $21.5 million that’s left will be paid to USDA AMS to run the program and collect assessments (there is no cap on this). This will leave ¼ of what is left to go to research, approximately a maximum of $5 million.
  • Imports will be assessed at the same rate as all other organic operations. For imports, for which there is a Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code, the assessment will be paid by the organic importer to Customs at the time of entry into the United States, and shall be remitted by Customs to the Board. For imports, for which there is not a HTS code (the majority of organic imports), the assessment will be self-declared and voluntarily paid directly to the Board.
  • Check-off Board: OTA proposes that the governing Board will be 17. One Board seat will be reserved for those producers that fall under the $250,000 in gross organic revenue exemption level (approximately 70% of producers). Seven Board seats will be reserved for producers with over $250,000 in gross organic revenue from different regions (2 from California), by definition large operations. The OTA defines the northeast which has one Board member as the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. There will be five seats for organic handlers; two for organic product processors; one for organic importers and one at-large member. The producer members will be nominated by each region in a structure that will be expensive to administer and difficult to ensure accountability and transparency. The assumption is that that process the regions use for nominating Board members for appointment by the Secretary will either be paid for by the Board from check-off dollars or be part of the work that USDA AMS will be paid for from check-off dollars.
  • When will there be a proposal: It is OTA’s goal to submit a proposal to USDA within the first half of 2015, although we hear from a source at USDA that they have received a draft proposal for consideration.

For the full draft of OTA’s reply to NODPA, please go to:

OTA's Reply

Free Speech and Prohibited Messaging

The Limits to Promotional Activities for Federal Check-off Money

The suggestion that organic check-off funds will be used to promote organics is one of the biggest arguments the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is using in their attempt to convince the organic community that their check-off proposal is a good idea.

However, as experience with other commodity check-off programs has demonstrated, there are severe restrictions and requirements attached to any promotional messages.  These include prohibitions on:

  1. Promotions that disparage another agricultural commodity.
  2. Any action that would be a conflict of interest.
  3. Promotions which are not generic.
  4. Using funds to influence governmental action or policy – NOSB or NOP.

For more on this please download the attached article:

Checkoff Restrictions Document

National Organic Coalition's
Pre-NOSB Meeting

Sunday, April 26, 2015  - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
San Diego Marriott La Jolla,  4240 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

Thank you to the co-hosts for this meeting, CCOF and Center for Food Safety!

Meeting Goal:
To provide a forum for productive engagement around critical issues for diverse stakeholders in the organic community

DRAFT AGENDA

9:30 – 10:45 Introductions, Ground Rules, & NOC history
10:45 – 11:45 DC Update on Organic Policy - with Steve Etka, Policy Director, National Organic Coalition
11:45 – 12:00 International Update - with Peggy Miars, Executive Director, Organic Materials Review Institute and member of IFOAM World Board 
12:00 – 1:30       LUNCH   (on your own)
1:30 – 2:00 GMO Contamination Prevention -   with Zea Sonnabend, Policy Specialist, CCOF and NOSB member
2:00 – 3:30 Organic Poultry Standards
3:30 – 4:45 Conversation with Mile McEvoy, Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program
4:45 – 5:15 NOP Biodiversity Guidance -   with Jo Ann Baumgartner, Director, Wild Farm Alliance
5:15 – 5:30 Closing


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.

Check out the 20 new entries in our business directory ...
... and consider adding your own business. MORE


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