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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 February, March and April 2015

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >

Animals

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
Email: farmersue38@yahoo.com
Phone: 802-989-3134
Location: Orwell,Vt

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
Email: chinavalley74@yahoo.com
Phone: 607-242-4490
Location: Deposit, NY

Looking for 10-15 certified organic Jerseys. Added February 2, 2015.
Name: Andy Smith
Email: mainemilkhouse@gmail.com
Phone: 2078771705
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.

Employment

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 gdgoldbe@gmail.com.

Events

For additional information on the events below, click here.

Coming soon.

 


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


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


Added March 10, 2015

NODPA Regional Round-Up

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:

in_regional-roundup-march-2015-031015.shtml

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

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:

feed_payprice_update_03102015.shtml

Book Review

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.

Preparing for Spring:
A Pre-Turnout Checklist

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:

pre-turnout-checklist

Webcast of U.S. Department of Agriculture Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence

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,
Click Here

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,
Click Here
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.

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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