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NODPA Events Calendar

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March 2018

March 6, 2018
2018 Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference
Holiday Inn Liverpool/Syracuse, New York

Our 7th Annual Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference will take place on March 6, 2018. The conference will be held at the centrally located and easily accessible Holiday Inn Liverpool/Syracuse, New York, just off the Thruway and Interstate 81. Key Note speaker will be John Bobbe, the Executive Director of the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM Inc.), an organic grain and livestock marketing cooperative with organic producer members in 19 states. John is the author of “Marketing Organic Grain, A Farmer’s Guide” which has received positive reviews from organic grain farmers in the U.S.

We welcome veteran farmers, beginning farmers, and farmers interested in transitioning to organic management. NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC staff will be available throughout the conference to answer questions. For more information, visit the website:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Adding Pastured Hogs to Diversified Dairy or Crop Farm; Farm Start-Up Opportunities NYCO Winter Meeting
Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY

The March 13th NYCO meeting will cover two topics: Rodale Institute Farm Manager Ross Duffield will provide an overview of current projects at Rodale and present a how-to talk on how Rodale incorporated hogs into its farming system and the multiple benefits of doing so; and a panel of three organic dairy farmers will share how they have used social investment capital to help their farming business. Representatives from Dirt Capital Partners and Iroquois Valley Farms REIT will be on hand to outline the opportunities they offer farms.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for the NYCO meetings. There will be a brief description of how Crop Insurance can benefit organic farmers at each of the three NYCO 2018 Winter Meetings.

The free-to-attend NYCO meetings begin at 10 AM in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY, and provide organic crop growers and dairy farmers together with the opportunity to hear speakers and network. There is no need to register for meetings. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.

NYCO winter meetings have grown from a gathering of six organic grain producers in the Martens Farms farmhouse kitchen in 1994 to filling the auditorium at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. More than 300 farmers attended NYCO meetings in 2017. For more information, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2669 or Information on previous NYCO meetings is posted at Fay Benson, Cornell Small Dairy Program, 607-391-2669,

Tuesday, March 20
Farm Tour: Smith's Tre G Farm
Phone: 607-391-2662
Contact_Name: Fay Benson
Location: Smith's Tre G Farm, 8183 US Route 20, Manilus, NY

Description: 10am-1pm farm tour includes a look at paddocks designed by Kirk Smith to make grazing and the use of two Lely Robotic milkers compatible. At lunch, the Smith family will relate their experience of transitioning to organic dairy production in challenging times.

The Smiths transitioned their 130-cow dairy to organic production over the past three years and now ship milk to the farmer-owned Organic Valley cooperative.

Registration is requested. Each event has a $5 charge for lunch. To register, call Steph at 607-391-2662 or email Abbie at for all events.For more information on the Cornell Organic Dairy Program, contact Fay Benson, Cornell South Central NY Dairy Team,

March 21 & 22, 2018
Western PA Grazing Conference
Trinity Point Church of God, Clarion, PA

Legendary artist, singer/guitarist Teddy Gentry from the country music group Alabama, along with noted author and mob grazing guru Greg Judy will be featured at this year’s conference. The conference will focus on many aspects of improving low input grazing systems. Sessions will cover topics such as brood cow efficiency and nutrition, how soil health and profitability are related, extending the grazing season, marketing opportunities, health and economics of grass finished meat and developing and implementing grazing leases. Two keynote speakers Teddy Gentry and Greg Judy bring a wealth of knowledge gained through experience in tuning and evaluating the many pieces of a grazing system to maximize functionality and profitability. Gentry will share his
insights into breeding cattle to fit environmental conditions along with how grazing management has benefitted his beef cattle operation. Gentry owns and operates the Bent Tree Cattle Co., located near Fort Payne, AL. Greg wrote a book, entitled “NO RISK RANCHING, Custom Grazing On Leased Land”, which gives a complete breakdown on the methods they used to build their operation of 1,600 acres from scratch.

Other sessions will include: Meg Grzeskiewicz - Generating cash flow in cow-calf operations, Tara Felix - Advance nutrition in beef cows, Jessica Williamson - Extending your grazing season, Ron Gargasz - Health benefits grass finished beef, Aaron Miller - The economics of marketing grass-fed beef, Russ Wilson - Nutrient recycling in adaptive grazing systems, Melanie Barkley- Winter feed much of what?, Gary Gilmore - Charcoal; helping your livestock and building soil, and Local Farmers - Dawson Dibbern, George Gaffron, Gary Yeaney.

Registration - $85 for 2-days & evening session, $45 for 1-day only (Continental Breakfast & Lunch included) registration deadline 3/14/18. Bonus evening session with Greg Judy on March 21: $20. To Register or for more information visit Headwaters RC&D. | Phone: 814-503-8653 Email: or visit our website:

Thursday, March 29 , 2018
Are You Robbing Your Pastures to Feed Your Livestock Program
Phone: 607-391-2662
Contact_Name: Fay Benson
Location: Dryden Fire Hall, 26 North St, Dryden, NY

Description: 12-2:30pm program begins with lunch followed by presentations by Altfrid Krusenbaum, a Wisconsin-based grazing consultant helping grazing dairy and beef farmers, and Cleason Horst of Friendly Blends soil amendments in Canandaigua, NY.

Krusenbaum will discuss organically managing pastures on his 470-acre farm to generate profit. After operating a grazing dairy for several years, he now raises grass-fed, grass-finished beef; hay; and small grains. He worked for several years with the Natural Resources Conservation Services as a Certified Grazing Planner, and currently serves with the national Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program.

Horst will talk about the depletion of soil fertility in pastures and how farmers can identify this by understanding soil lab reports. He has experience with pastures from which there were only withdrawals and no deposits to the soil bank account long-term. Horst will describe how he reads a soil test to prioritize recommendations for re-investing nutrients into soil as the most important resource on the farm.

Registration is requested. Each event has a $5 charge for lunch. To register, call Steph at 607-391-2662 or email Abbie at For more information on the Cornell Organic Dairy Program, contact Fay Benson. Cornell South Central NY Dairy Team,










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