Three generations of the Conant family are involved with the day-to-day operations of the Pineville Farm in central Vermont
Randolph Center is in just about the geographical center of Vermont, where the Green Mountains dictate the agricultural landscape. Traveling over dirt roads towards the end of April’s mud season, there are still plenty of snow patches up on this ridge where Pineville Farm sits. Here the Conant family takes great pride in their herd of registered Ayreshire and Jersey cows, whose milk is shipped to Horizon Organic.
Their story and great pictures are at: http://www.nodpa.com/ff_may_2011.shtml
How's and the Why's of the Pasture Rule
With advice on the essential requirements of meeting the new regulations concerning access to pasture, Pennsylvania producer Dave Johnson is able to share his own experience on crunching numbers and simplifying record keeping. Dave’s advice is that the regulations are here, can easily be met and can benefit livestock and the bottom line. He also touches on the need to take care of ourselves during the process. I especially like the idea of a nap to ruminate on columns of figures! Read the article at:
NOSB Spring meeting - a storm in a tea cup
The spring meeting of the NOSB in Seattle, Washington, was held last month and had a very full agenda, with some of the recommendations creating concern and plenty of comments/action alerts as many felt the integrity of organic and historic production practices were at risk. At the opening session Deputy Secretary Merrigan spoke by recorded videocast and NOP administrator Miles McEvoy spoke in person. They set the tone of the meeting by emphasizing the bigger picture and the need for a collegial interaction between the Board and stakeholders which has been the culture of the Board for many years. For a report:
NODPA member survey results
NODPA is a grass-roots organization, relying on the support of its membership, making sure that the needs and thoughts of organic dairy farmers are being heard, and building networks, and providing resources to organic and transitioning farmers. Earlier this year we drafted a survey asking questions about the economic health of their farm, feelings about the new Pasture Rule and whether or not they will be able to comply, whether or not the NOP should require that all certified organic dairy replacements be born from cows managed organically from the last 1/3 of gestation, and where NODPA should be concentrating its energy and resources. Read what producers across the country and from varying size of farms have to say:
Feed price and retail demand both
rising for organic dairy
Last year retail sales of organic fluid milk were stagnant, producers were being paid on utilization and feed prices were the lowest of many years. In 2011 the retail market has rebounded more quickly than expected, confounding economist expectations that consumers are only price sensitive in economically difficult times. Consumers are making choices based on organic practices and we have 20% growth in sales year over year and over 95% utilization of organic milk across the country. We also have a conventional grain market heavily influenced by the world climate disasters and the subsidy for ethanol, which has double the price of conventional corn and soybeans, making any response to the need for increased supply of organic feed expensive for producers. For more detailed information please go to:
Feed Price: http://www.nodpa.com/feed_prices_051611.shtml
-- Ed Maltby, Executive Director, NODPA
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