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Dog Henry, Jason Schnauber, Monica Walldroff-Schnauber, Eliana Walldroff, Anne and Ed Walldroff, Oliver Van Pelt, Maria Walldroff-Van Pelt, David Van Pelt

Featured Farm: Homestead Fields, LaFargeville, NY

Homestead Fields has been in the Walldroff family for more than 100 years. Ed is the fifth generation to work the land located in LaFargeville, New York, about 100 miles north of Syracuse. LaFargeville is ten miles from the St. Lawrence River and the historic 1,000 Islands recreational area.


Democracy Worked:
USDA Terminates the Organic Checkoff Proposal, Citing "Lack of Support"

On May 15th, the USDA announced that it was terminating the “rulemaking proceeding that proposed to establish a national research and promotion program for certified organic products under authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act).” The Organic Trade Association proposal for an organic check off was denied by the USDA because there was “uncertain industry support for and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.” In plain English, the USDA agreed with the 1,895 organic producers, businesses and consumers that signed a petition against the organic checkoff, created by the No Organic Checkoff Coalition, representing 31 organizations and more than 6,000 organic farmers from the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States, and the comments that unequivocally said the checkoff would never work. For once, the process worked and a grassroots movement of producers made their voice heard over a barrage of promotion of the proposal financed by hundreds of thousands of industry dollars.

checkoff ended

What’s Wrong with Organic Certification, and What Should Be Done About It?

By Adam Diamond

In the March issue of NODPA News, Arden Landis briefly comments on a major structural flaw in the entire organic certification regime, the apparent conflict of interest between certifiers and businesses seeking organic certification. This article elaborates on the nature of this problem, its consequences, and possible solutions. Landis reflects on his experience working as an independent certifier for four certifying agencies. He feels that these agencies are working hard to conduct certifications in accordance with the National Organic Standards.  However, “if I see one real problem in the whole process, it is that the agencies make their money off the farms they certify….If a certifier is too tough, farmers find out and they will move from one agency to another. I don’t know how you’re going to get around this.”

certification problems

Join Odairy

The ODairy email list serve hosts robust discussions on many different issues, some practical, some on policy, some on politics and some just exchanging news on the organic community. ODairy is blessed by having so many committed veterinarians experienced in organic production who take an active part in the discussions on the list serve. There is no one way to solve a health problem in organic production.  Also, Odairy is a great place to advertise animals for sale and organic feed that is available.

To join the active and informative email list serv, or to visit ODairy's archive, clicking here.

Upcoming Events

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Support NODPA

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June 19, 2018

2018 NODPA
Field Days
September 27
and 28, 2018

Mennonite Church
2142 Rohrersville Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758

The 18th Annual NODPA Field Days comes at a time when organic dairy farmers are struggling, so this year’s educational program takes on these realities by offering practical, low-cost or no-cost solutions that can help our farms emerge intact from the current industry crisis while remaining true to the integrity of the organic seal. Some of the informational workshops we are developing will provide farmers with the tools to assess their operations in order to maximize net income; rethink management practices to increase efficiency; and even lay out all the options available to farm families as they consider their future within the current realities of the organic dairy industry. We also tackle the very important issues facing the organic dairy industry: preserving the integrity of the organic seal; understanding all of the Organic Plus Labels/Add-on Certification Programs that are emerging; and staying informed about the happenings at the USDA and this year’s Farm Bill. Our keynote speaker, Mark Kastel will give a very timely presentation on the crisis in organic dairy. 

2018 Field Days

Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed Prices:
May 2018

Total retail sales of organic milk for the first quarter of 2018, 654 million pounds, was one percent lower than sales in 2017, 662 million pounds, but sales of organic whole milk were up 6% on sales for the first quarter in 2017. Federal Milk Market Order 1 in New England again reported an increase in the utilization of types of organic milk by pooled plants.

feed and grain prices