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11th Annual NODPA Field Days
September 29 & 30, 2011:
'Organic Dairy: What Does the Future Hold?'
Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campsites, Milford, NY

To register online for the Field Days, click here >
To download a printable registration form, click here >
To learn more about sponsorship & tradeshow
opportunities, click here >
To download our Field Days Brochure, click here >

Added July 28, 2011. We are very excited about this year's NODPA Field Days, taking place in Cooperstown, NY. We hope that you can make it, as we have an incredible line-up of speakers and topics to cover, delicious local/organic food and a wonderful tradeshow where you will be able to visit with your peers and meet many of the businesses  and resource individuals that service the needs of organic dairy farmers.  There is a small registration fee to attend the event, but if you are an organic or transitioning dairy producer, the admission is FREE. The Thursday banquet dinner is also FREE to transitioning producers and their families.

At the 2011 NODPA Field Days, Prominent leaders in Organic Dairy  will be answering questions about our future in the face of widespread use of GM seeds; private label milk and its impact on pay price; how to have a strong collective voice; grazing management;  and embracing record keeping so that it works for you.We will also be visiting Raindance Organic Farm where we will get a tour of Siobhan Griffin's organic dairy and see her organic cheese making operation. We will also spend some time in her pastures with  grazing specialist Troy Bishopp, where he will help us evaluate our pastures and learn how to monitor and manage for success. In the evening we will listen to our Keynote Speaker, Organic Dairy Producer and Author, Francis Thicke who will discuss future challenges and opportunities facing organic dairy.

Below you will find a complete agenda for the two days and a description of our featured speakers. Important links listed above allow you to download our brochure, register, and  learn about sponsoring or having a tradeshow table. We hope to see you there!

Have questions? Call Nora Owens, Field Days Coordinator, 413-772-0444, or email her at


Thursday, September 29, 2011

9:00 am to noon: Farm Tour, Siobhan Griffin's Raindance Farm, 2518 County Highway 35, Schenevus, NY, 12155. Field Days registration will take place after the farm tour. This event is sponsored by NODPA, NOFA-NY and Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative.

9:00-9:30: Farm tour registration and breakfast refreshments

9:30-Noon: Tour Raindance Organic Farm ( and view Siobhan Griffin's organic cheese making operation where she produces Organic Sun Cheese, organic veal, pork, sausage, eggs and more that she sells locally and at farmers markets in and around NYC. Follow the tour with a pasture based 'Reading the Landscape' workshop presented by Troy Bishopp, grazing specialist, SWCD/Upper Susquehanna Coalition, where you will learn how to assess whether your pastures are moving forward or backward in productivity and profitability by monitoring (assessing) the percentage of forage ground cover, biological activity, plant species diversity, earthworm and dung beetle populations, and more.

12:30 -1:30: NODPA Field Days Registration and Lunch
Banquet Hall at Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campsites, 138 Towers Rd., Milford, NY 13807

1:30 – 3:00: Facts and Fiction: Demystifying Private Label Milk
What we need to know about private label milk and whether it impacts pay price. Panel: Peter Miller, Organic Valley; Horizon Organic and Upstate Niagara representatives (invited)

3:30 – 5:00: Producer Meeting: (Open to all Field Days Participants)

5:00 – 6:00: Social Hour and Trade Show: light refreshments and time to visit the tradeshow

6:00 – 7:00: Banquet Dinner: Organic Pig Roast

7:00 – 8:00: Keynote Speaker: Francis Thicke, organic dairy farmer, leader in the organic industry, author and former candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture discusses the future challenges and opportunities facing Organic Dairy.

8:00 – 9:00: NODPA Annual Meeting:
• Welcome from Rick Segalla, NODPA President
• NODPA Year in Review, Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director
• Report from the regions and a FOOD Farmers Update

Friday, September 30, 2011

6:30 – 9:00 am: Continental Breakfast and Trade Show, banquet hall.

7:00 – 8:30: Producer-Only Meeting (location to be announced)

7:30 – 8:30: YouTube video on Economic Impacts of Heavy Industrial Activities in the Town of Ulysses, PA, a one-hour video on Natural Gas Exploration with Carolyn Knapp and Carol French, two dairy farmers from Bradford County, PA who give a comprehensive, boots-on-the-ground tour of the positives and negatives of natural gas exploration, banquet hall.

9:00 – 10:30: Natural Gas Exploration: What impact will it have on Organic Certification? Panel Speakers: James Northrup, oil and gas industry expert, Lisa Engelbert, NOFA-NY Certifier, Paul Allen, PA organic dairy farmer.

10:30 – 10:45 Milk Break and Trade Show

10:45 – 12:15: Advocacy Groups in the Organic Dairy Marketplace: Why they are important and necessary. Facilitator: Liana Hoodes, National Organic Coalition. Panel: Francis Thicke, and Kevin Engelbert, dairy farmers, Organic Trade Association representative (invited).

12:30 – 2:00: Lunch, Trade Show and Door Prize Drawing

2:00 – 4:00 Thinking-man's grazing: Learning how to plan your grazing for profit, production and success. This workshop offers practical, hands-on learning experience on grazing plan strategies and will include examples of farms that have applied these methods. Attendees will learn how to plan their grazing ahead of time to meet their personal production goals. Troy Bishopp, grazing specialist, SWCD/Upper Susquehanna Coalition.

4:00 pm: Meeting ends

Featured Speakers:

Troy Bishopp:

Troy Bishopp, "The Grass Whisperer" comes to us from Deansboro, NY, and with his family, owns and operates Bishopp Family Farm, a 5th generation, 132 year old farmstead that is home to a Custom Grazing operation that finishes beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 450 acres of owned and leased native pastures, and is home to an emerging Cow-calf operation. Their beef has been served at President Obama's inaugural dinners, high-end restaurants, even in Japan. In addition, Troy works for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist; is a project leader for a NESARE-funded professional development grazing training project through the Central New York Resource Conservation and Development Council in Norwich NY, writes a monthly column for Lancaster Farming and is President of the Mohawk Valley Toastmasters. To learn more, visit his website:

Francis Thicke:

Francis and his wife, Susan, own and operate an 80-cow, grass-based, organic dairy near Fairfield, Iowa. They have a processing plant on their farm where they process all the milk from their cows. They produce bottled milk, cheese and yogurt which they market through grocery stores and restaurants in their local community. All their milk products are sold within four miles of their farm. Francis and Susan's farming operation is considered innovative in many respects, including how they integrate livestock onto the landscape in an ecologically sound way, their value-added dairy processing, the design and management of their grazing system, and their use of alternative energy systems.

In addition to farming, Francis is a soil scientist, author of A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture for the 21st Century, 2010; a leader in the national organic community; has served on numerous agricultural state and national boards and advisory groups, and was a 2010 candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.


From the West (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica): Take I-90 to Exit 30 (Herkimer); take State Route 28 South into Cooperstown; turn right at "T" intersection and continue to follow Rte 28S approximately 4 miles; go past McDonalds, Pizza Hut and traffic light; take next right onto Seminary Road; follow 1½ mile to 'T' junction. Turn left on Towers Road; Beaver Valley is 1 mile on left.
From the East (Albany, New England): Follow I-90 West to New York State; stay on I-90 W through Albany to Exit 25A; follow I-88 toward Binghamton; take exit 17; follow State Rte 28 N for 12-13 miles. Go past the Cooperstown Dreams Park on the right; take next left onto Seminary Road; follow 1½ mile to 'T' junction. Turn left on Towers Road; Beaver Valley is 1 mile on left.
From the South (Binghamton and eastern PA): Follow I-88 East into Oneonta; take Exit 17 and follow State Route 28 North 12-13 miles. Go past the Cooperstown Dreams Park on the right; take next left onto Seminary Road; follow 1½ mile to 'T' junction. Turn left on Towers Road; Beaver Valley is 1 mile on left.


Beaver Valley is offering special rates for NODPA Field Days participants. To make reservations, call 800-726-7314 or 607-293-7324. To view your options, visit:

Campsites with water, electric and sewer are $20.00 per night.

1 bedroom log cabin trailers with sleeping loft sleeps up to 4 adults, $62.50 per night. Bedroom has 2 sets of bunk beds; one set has a double mattress with a twin bunk on top and the other has twin mattresses. The loft has two twin mattresses on a carpeted floor. The cabin has a kitchen, bathroom, dining area and front porch. It's located within a few yards of the banquet hall. Linens are not provided, so you will need to bring your own.

There are also extensive lodging options to choose from in the area: motels, inn and suites hotels, bed & breakfasts and even historic inns. For a wide selection visit:, or use or