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:
Pay price moves
up slowly as sales increase and
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:
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Added in February, March and April 2015
For full classifieds, click here.
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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.
We are currently selling our certified organic dairy herd as we are selling our farm. We have cross bred cows of jersey/ayshires/
lineback. We have millkers,dry cows and heifers. Have been preg checked. Added March 22, 2015.
Contact: Sue Balfe
Looking for organic started bull calves or young grass fed feeders within a reasonable distance, will go farher for a group. Added February 5, 2015.
Name: Ronald Axtell
Location: Deposit, NY
Looking for 10-15 certified organic Jerseys. Added February 2, 2015.
Name: Andy Smith
Location: Monmouth. ME
Forage, Bedding & Grains
For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic BEDDING HAY - 4 1/2 X 4 round bales, stored outside. Also TIMOTHY SEED, cleaned and bagged on farm. Contact Jeff at Mitchell Farms (Avoca, NY - Steuben County). 607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com.
Added February 16, 2015.
Greyrock Farm Dairy Manager
Added February 2, 2015. Greyrock Farm is a diversified farm in Cazenovia, NY. We raise beef, pork, and chicken and do our own slaughtering and butchering on farm. We have a raw milk dairy, a flock of laying hens, and we manage about 12 acres of vegetable fields. We make hay and work with draft horses. We market our produce through a year-round CSA and a bi-weekly market on the farm.
We are looking for a full-time dairy manager to manage all operations in our raw milk dairy. We milk Brown Swiss and currently have 12 milkers and 7 heifers, with the goal of milking between 15 and 20. Our cows are 100% grass-fed, and we rotationally graze them on 24 acres of pasture during the growing season. We milk year-round in a tie-stall barn. We milk our cows once a day and have experimented with keeping our calves on cows.
The ideal candidate will have 2-3 years experience managing a dairy. We are looking for someone with attention to detail, an eye for efficiency, and a love of cows. Experience with organic, grass-fed, and raw milk preferred.
Salary will be between 22,000-28,000 based on experience.
Please send a resume, cover letter, and professional references to Gillian at email@example.com.
For additional information on the events below, click here.
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:
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:
For the full draft of OTA’s reply to NODPA, please go to:
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:
For more on this please download the attached article:
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!
To provide a forum for productive engagement around critical issues for diverse stakeholders in the organic community
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
Added March 10, 2015
Want to know what’s happening or what is important in the organic dairy industry – ask those that farm. Producers from Maine to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin give some insights into what is important to them during this long winter of 2015. Perhaps Leon Corse from Vermont best sums up the feelings of most producers, and consumers, this year in the northeast, “We are really looking forward to spring.” For the complete article please go to:
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. The availability is great for organic ground beef from organic cull cows available in the US, but it is easier and cheaper to import beef manufacture trim from Australia. If the organic pay price for grains were higher, there would be more grain producers transitioning to organic. Consumers are paying more for organic because they believe the products are better for them and that they benefit their environment. With imports driving the expansion of organics and either driving down pay prices or preventing prices from rising enough to sustain US organic producers, it is unlikely we will see a growth in organic production, especially as the early pioneers of organic processing sell out to large conglomerates who only have one bottom line – profits for their shareholders. For more on pay price and charts on the growth of real organic sales, please go to:
A Holistic Vet’s Prescription for a Healthy Herd, by Richard J Holliday,
DVM and Jim Helfter
By Geneva Perkins, Contributing Writer
Our world today is bombarded with new drugs, new herbicides and pesticides, new soil amendments that promise to cure, kill and repair all the woes and miseries that afflict us and the livestock that we depend upon for our livelihood. Richard “Doc” Holliday and Jim Helfter draw from their years of combined experience in treating and studying animals to provide an introduction to holistic livestock care.
The key word here is holistic. By studying the change in feeding habits of the bison roaming hundreds of acres with a veritable smorgasbord of nutrients to the modern confined living conditions with limited or no choice of food, the authors show the effects of imbalanced nutrition on livestock health and productivity. The book builds the case that conventional care focuses on treatment of specific symptoms and prevention of specific illnesses, while holistic treatment can involve a variety of approaches, including nutrition and alternative therapy. While acknowledging that sometimes the use of antibiotics is necessary, their experience has shown that a healthy, well cared for animal is more likely to stay healthy even when exposed to disease.
The book is broken down into three sections: Holistic Animal Health and Nutrition, Trace Minerals and Free-Choice Mineral Programs, and Holistic Herd Management.
To read the complete review by Geneva Perkins please click here.
By Susan Beal, DVM
Sitting here, listening to the wind roaring through the hemlock grove behind my wee house, with the temperature solidly below zero and several feet of snow piled up, even in the protected timber, it seems odd to be writing about spring turnout. While we know that the land is still percolating under the snow cover, and we see the lengthening days, on days like today it can be difficult to envision the perennial miracle of the return of grass.
If you’ve not already put some thought into it, this is a great time of year to jot down a few notes and make a checklist to ensure you’re ready for turnout. That time will come quickly – and will be sooner for some than for others. Here in Pennsylvania, the differences between the northwestern and southeastern corners of the state are incredible – with turnout varying between late March and mid- May. Some graziers (primarily beef herds) have been able to extend their grazing season into late January (even here in the west central region). To read more of Susan’s idea and suggestions please go to:
The USDA is hosting a Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence on March 12th and 13th for a select group of folks they have identified as stakeholders, with an agenda that is very slanted to benefit the chemical companies, although they are responding to criticism about their choice of stakeholders by inviting producers a week before the event. This is one of the most important issues of the day for all, not just organic farmers, that do not want their crops contaminated by genetically engineered genes. It is common sense and established legal practice that if your land, livestock or crops are contaminated by another entity, then that entity bears responsibility for paying for any damage – if your neighbor’s bull jumps the fence and impregnates your cows, the neighbor is responsible for any damage or financial hardship. GE crops are produced under license so the patent holder is responsible for any financial hardship, not your neighbor who is using it, since he/she is prevented from owning that seed by the patent holder. USDA has suggested that farmers having crop insurance may be a method to compensate for lost income from contamination, but it would be a difficult and probably expensive policy to underwrite and not appropriate for the situation. Chemical companies that hold the patent should be the ones that take out insurance to cover contamination caused by their product. It will be interesting to see what emerges from the workshop and whether any recommendations recognize the reality of the responsibility.
Webcast, as well as audio call-in, information is as follows:
DAY 1 - March 12, 2015 @ 8:30 a.m. ET
For Webcast Link,
Dial-in: 1-888-621-9649 or 1-617-231-2734
Event ID: 419052
DAY 2 – March 13, 2015@8:30 a.m. ET
For Webcast Link,
Dial-in: 1-888-621-9649 or 1-617-231-2734
Event ID: 419053
For dial-in participants, you may join the teleconference 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start. If you need technical support please call AT&T Connect Support at 1-888-796-6118. If you require a list of international dial-in numbers, click here.
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.
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