Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance





The mission of NODPA is 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, with particular emphasis on:

  1. Establishing a fair and sustainable price for their product at the wholesale level.
  2. Promoting ethical, ecological and economically sustainable farming practices.
  3. Developing networks with producers and processors of other organic commodities to strengthen the infrastructure within the industry.
  4. Establishing open dialogue with organic dairy processors and retailers in order to better influence producer pay price and to contribute to marketing efforts.

History of NODPA
NODPA started in February 2001, at a summit meeting of organic dairy producers in the Northeast after one processor arbitrarily lowered their farm gate price and farmers’ future pay price was threatened. These producers came together to discuss critical issues within the organic dairy industry including: maintaining a sustainable milk price; the National Organic Program; alternative milk markets; and building effective communication lines between fellow producers in the Northeast and beyond.
NODPA was originally housed within NOFA VT, which acted as a fiscal agent and assisted with administration while the organization grew. Initially, NODPA had a governing committee of state representatives made up of both organic dairy farmers and non–dairy supporters, with Lisa McCrory acting as a coordinator. In February 2004 Sarah Flack took over as coordinator and a NODPA board was set up. By laws were developed in July 2004 and planning started for an eventual separate legal entity, with discussions centering on developing some form of non-profit. Most of the funding for staff and activities in these early days came from the John Merck Fund with administration provided by NOFA VT, which worked with the board and state representatives to plan the transition to an independent organization, and ensured there was a healthy bank balance. In February 2005, Ed Maltby took over from Sarah, and NODPA set up its own administration and became a separate entity.

What does NODPA do?

  1. NODPA is the largest grassroots farmer organizations in the country and is dedicated to organic dairy farmers’ interests, peer mentoring and communication between producers, not to recreating new bureaucracy.
  2. Provide leadership in analyzing the activities of the National Organic Program and communicating that information to farmers, processors, industry representatives and consumers. 
  3. Represent the interests of organic producers at national meeting and work closely with its sister organization in the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA), and the Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (MODPA) by providing administrative support to the Federation Of Organic Dairy Farmers, (FOOD Farmers).
  4. Organize an Annual Meeting and Field Days Event each year at different locations in the northeast.
  5. Produce and distribute the NODPA News bi-monthly newsletter that goes out to over 2,000 subscribers and many different casual readers at events.
  6. Moderate Odairy, the organic dairy electronic discussion group, which has over 750 subscribing members. To become an Odairy subscriber, email:
  7. NODPA updates and maintains a web site filled with resources including educational information on animal health and grazing management, industry news, certification, classifieds, calendar events, and a business directory. (, )
  8. Be a member of the Organic Trade Association, the National Organic Coalition and the Accredited Certifiers Association and promote producers interests nationally and in Washington DC.
  9. Work constantly to retain the integrity and consistent application of organic dairy standards in order to uphold consumer expectations and provide a sustainable future. 
  10. Administer and grow NODPA’s Farmer Emergency Fund to assist organic dairy farmers.


Who are members of NODPA?
The NODPA by laws define members in the following way:
Section 1: Voting Members: Voting members of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers shall include any organic family dairy farm in the Northeast Region. Each farm shall have one (1) vote.
Section 2: Associate (non-voting) Members:

  1. Associate Members of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance shall be any
    organization, group or individual that does not produce organic milk.
  2. A fee shall be assessed for Associate Membership.
  3. Associate members will not be able to vote on business of the Corporation.

The fee for associate membership has been assessed by the board at $50 annually.

How is NODPA Governed?
NODPA has a board of eight members which is made up of the executive officers plus representatives from each state. The board is elected by the state representatives on an annual basis. NODPA doesn’t yet have a process for appointing or electing representatives from the different states and we are continuously looking for farmers who are willing to commit some time to participate in the governance of NODPA as state representatives. All board members and state representatives must be voting members of NODPA in good standing which means they are certified organic dairy producers farming in the Northeast. NODPA also has provision for associate members who are not organically certified organic dairy farmers but wish to support the organization.

NODPA’s legal status
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Inc. is a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation and is exempt from federal taxes under section 501 (c) (5) which provides exemptions for labor, agricultural or horticultural organizations.
NODPA works very closely with Community Alliances of Interdependent Agriculture (CAIA) which is a 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to “enable people to create food and farming systems which improve and sustain ecological, economic and social health through systemic, community based, self-organizing governance.” By working closely with CAIA on different projects and activities, NODPA increases it ability to accept funds from foundations and supporters.



Copyright 2002 - 2008 Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
30 Keets Rd, Deerfield MA 01342,

NODPA Website designed and maintained by Davis Hill Designs

Thanks to the John Merck Fund for supporting our organic dairy farmers with this web site.

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