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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | August 1, 2009

NODPA Field Days
on August 13 and 14 are only a couple of weeks away ...
... and the day will be pleasantly warm but not good enough to be able to make hay, so head on over to Roman’s place!!

The NODPA Field Days and Annual Meeting will be taking place in beautiful Lancaster County, PA, at Spring Wood Organic Farm, 1143 Gap Road, Kinzers,  PA; the family farm of Roman Stoltzfoos, one of the pioneers of organic dairy in the Northeast, and founders of NODPA.

Recognizing the extreme financial hardship that organic dairy producers are suffering, this year’s Field Days have a theme of “Practical and Efficient Organic Dairy Farming Practices in Hard Economic Times,” and features many practical workshops from leaders in the organic dairy industry.

Kicking things off on Thursday afternoon, Roman and Dwight Stoltzfoos will lead a panel discussion on the benefits of hedgerows followed by a pasture walk that will incorporate information stations to focus on plant identification, fence line and water systems, pasture management, and forage quality.  Experts will be available to discuss the relevant topics and there will be forage variety demonstration plots to visit.

Friday’s early workshops will include a discussion on economically balancing rations and affordable ways to keep your herd healthy featuring Dr. Hubert Karreman, Kathy Soder, Ken Muckenfuss, Sarah Flack and Jeff Mattocks. 

Keynote speaker, James Landis, will lead the final two workshops. Mr. Landis has created a cost/cwt spreadsheet program that he uses to help farmers analyze the profitability of their own dairy farms.

After a bountiful lunch, he will focus on the heart of the dairy: swift, simple, pleasant milking; mob handling, controlling feed costs; raising heifers on pasture and last, but not least, turning youngsters into adults in farming. Roman and Dwight Stoltzfoos have worked closely with James Landis and will join him in leading a tour of their dairy where they are bringing Mr. Landis’ strategies to life.

To register online for Field Days go to http://nodpa.com/2009_fielddays.shtml.

For our latest press release about the event, go to:
http://www.nodpa.com/2009_fielddays_final_notice.shtml

The Field Days brochure can be found at http://nodpa.com/2009_fielddays_schedule.shtml
or call Nora Owens at 413-772-0444 for more information.

Climate Change Ruminations

In the past year there have been a lot of scientific and opinion articles written focusing on green house gas emissions and the impact that cows are making on our environment by burping and defecating. NODPA published a few articles in the July NODPA News sharing what we feel is good information; highlighting the benefits organic management practices, high forage diets, the use of rotational grazing systems on production farms and the disadvantages of liquid manure storage systems. Read the article contributions from Meredith Niles (Climate Policy for Agriculture that Works), Sam Fromartz (The Misguided Science Behind rBGH and Climate Change) and Troy Bishop (The Passing Wind) for some good science, policy, opinion and a chuckle. Click here for more >

Opinions and Commentary on Organic Dairy

The last 6 months have seen the world of Organic Dairy turned on its head and, of course, everyone has an opinion on whom or what caused the problem and what a solution might be. Many of these opinions are reflected on the NODPA moderated Odairy listserve and you can find archived summaries of those conversations at http://www.nodpa.com/list_serv.shtml, where you can also sign up for the listserve. We publish commentary and opinions in our bi-monthly newsletter and you can find more information about subscribing at: http://nodpa.com/newsletters.shtml. You can also read some of the archived editions also found in this location.

We want to share these thoughtful and sometimes humorous commentaries with a wider audience, and have included some in this enewsletter to stimulate discussion and encourage responses so we can work on solutions. See below for more.

The system is broken – can it be fixed?

Francis Thicke has been a leader in dairy and organic dairy for many years and we publish his thoughts on why the free market system is broken in both conventional and organic dairy.

Open letter to Stonyfield founder

Maine organic dairy producers have suffered from the downturn in organic dairy, especially those who sell their milk to the HP Hood/DMS/Stonyfield milk brand. The Maine Organic Milk Producers (MOMP), NODPA’s representative organization in Maine, has been attempting to work with Stonyfield founder Gary Hirschberg to solve some of the problems created by his brand. They have had no luck and it appears Gary has little understanding of producers’ problems. The open letter from MOMP to Gary Hirschberg illustrates their producers’ frustration and the difficulty of trying to solve problems within the ill-defined and difficult to navigate organic dairy contracts which are unfairly balanced in favor of the milk companies.

Time to be politically incorrect?

Kevin Englebert has devoted many hours to improving the organic regulations and is an experienced, respected and knowledgeable organic dairy producer. He does have strong opinions and his commentary entitled “its’ time to be politically incorrect” is not a TV comedy program but his analysis of the powerful dynamics that directly affect the future of organic producers.

Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director


NODPA NOTES

NY Branded Milk!
An Interview With Dean Sparks of Empire Organics
MORE >

Research initiated to study cattle health problems facing organic dairy industry in Vermont
This is the first in a series of NODPA articles describing research efforts underway in Vermont to meet the needs of Organic Dairy Producers.
MORE >

GRAIN MARKET UPDATE
The latest corn and soybean prices, and grain price trends over the past four years. MORE >

ORGANIC MILK PAY PRICE UPDATE
New England pay price since 2006, trends in organic fluid milk sales for the past four years, and new data comparing conventional and organic prices. MORE >

Recent Discussions
on ODairy

Measuring somatic cell counts. Treating an early case of coliform mastitis. Stimulating a cow to calf. Help with a calf scours problem. Dealing with flies. Read more >

Upcoming Events

Check out our comprehensive listing of upcoming conferences, workshops and other events. Dozens of them are listed for July alone. Click here for details.

New Classified Ads: Updated August 1

Click here for the latest classifieds:

Animals For Sale:
Small Herd 15 milking age crossbred cows all stages of lactation. 20 young stock springing to milk calves. -- Certified organic Jersey and Jersey x Devon heifers. These girls are 15 months old and running with a bull as of July 10th. Beautiful heifers on fantastic pasture.
EQUIPMENT For Sale: WHITE 2-70 4X4 WITH YEAR-ROUND CAB. GOOD PAINT TIRES FAIR. RUNS GOOD. Land For Sale: 297 acre NICS certified organic dairy farm. 62 free stalls, single 8 parlor with OTO, two machine sheds (one built this year), TMR, manure structure, rotational grazing paddocks, four silos, 2 story house with 5 bedrooms. Creek through property. Comes with a full line of equipment and cattle. Farm has received numerous milk quality awards and received the 2006 Water Quality Leadership Award for Eau Claire County, WI.
Forages & Grains
For Sale: 4x4 round bales 1st cut mixed grass hay nofa ny certified organic.
Products For Sale: We have a wide selection of goat cheese's, packaged in 8 ounce logs or 5 pound logs. -- We manufacture dairy cow bedding from paper mill short fiber residue.
Products Wanted: I am looking for minimally processed heavy cream , milk and other dairy products to buy. As few additives as possible. We live near Port Jervis Ny, along the Delaware River. -- A farm that produces sunflower seeds crops.


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