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NODPA Needs YOU

NODPA depends on the memberships of farmers, consumers and businesses for support of all its efforts--regionally and in Washington--on behalf of the organic dairy farmers.

If you're an organic dairy farmer, consider one of the following: a milk check-off membership or an annual newsletter membership or choose your own level of annual dues to support NODPA. Learn more >

If you're a business
, consider our high-value business membership.

If you're an interested consumer or educator, look into our associate membership.

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NODPA’s Mission:

To enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the well being of the organic dairy industry as a whole.

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NODPA NEWS & NOTES

Payprice Summary Chart: 2006 to 2013

Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.

Organic Milk, Pay,
Retail and Feed Prices September 2016

Added July 26, 2016.Following some months in 2015 when organic milk production seemed to have slowed, or even declined, 2016 has been a good year for growth in production. Recent efforts to increase numbers of organic dairy producers, by some processors, are now generating increased organic milk flows. NOFA-NY LLC is currently working with the largest group of transitioning farms since the rule change which mandated 100% organic feed for a full year to transition.

For further details of what is happening and some charts, please go:

feed_payprice_update_09132016.shtml

Check Out All The Businesses Supporting NODPA's Work

Over 20 businesses have signed up for our business membership directory, helping support our newsletter, web site, advocacy work, and more. Check them out.

5 Ways You
Can Support NODPA

Ten years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2014 NODPA is the only organization whose mission is to represent the interest of organic dairy producers no matter who they sell their milk to.

Click here for a summary of the many ways you can support NODPA and the farmers it represents.

Recent Classifieds

Added in August and September 2016.

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >

Equipment

Organic Valley is seeking a Regional Pool Manager in the Pennsylvania and Maryland regions to support current dairy pool members and to procure new members. Practical dairy knowledge and good communication skills required. Organic production knowledge helpful.
Added August 10, 2016
Joelle Kaufman, Joelle.kaufman@organicvalley.coop, 608-625-3522
One Organic Way, La Farge, WI

Real Estate

Dairy farmer looking for pasture to lease.
Currently graze 18 registered Dutch Belted cows and plan to expand and grow numbers. Looking to lease pasture for MIG, and particularly interested in property with or the potential space for dairy facilities. Interested in leasing land 30+ acres, work trade, is possible. I have extensive experience in agriculture, mechanical, and handyman work as well as cheese making. Over the past five years I have been working full time in outdoor education while growing a herd. Originally from I am looking to move to the southeast, western North Carolina, southwest Virginia, eastern Tennessee. Graduated from Appalachian State University in 2007 where I majored in building construction with a concentration in sustainable development. Interested and open to all possibilities available on both working farms and idle land in need of a little TLC. Please contact me via email or telephone: Travis Hurt (434)-249-1420, hurt.tr@gmail.com.
Added September 18, 2016.
Name: Travis Hurt
Email: Hurt.tr@gmail.com
Phone: 434-249-1420
Location: Virginia

Animals

Wanted 100 to 120 cows and or bred heifers. Heifers to freshen in February 2017 to march 2017 . Will want to purchase cows in February 2017 when facilities will be completed. Heifers I can purchase now. Will pay market value for all animals.Please call or email any time thanks for your help. Added September 13, 2016.
Name: Robert Piechocki
Email: RL3516spring@gmail.com
Phone: 585-356-3741
Location: Attica, New York

100% GRASSFED MILKING SHORTHORNS
Certified organic, zero-grain heifers for sale. Bovey, female, b. 4/20/2014- sire is King Oscar (Milking Shorthorn). Hornet, female b. 8/7/2015- sire is King Oscar, too. Both ready to breed. Closed herd. $1200 each or $2000 for the pair. Located in Craftsbury, VT. We didn't make hay for these heifers! Added August 27, 2016.
Name: Jennifer Linck
Email: nanyfer@ hotmail.com
Phone: 802-586-2401
Location: Craftsbury, VT

For sale - certified organic springing Holstein heifers. 802-433-5837.
Added August 1, 2016.
Name: Phil Alston
Email: berryalston@yahoo.com
Phone: 802-433-5837
Location: Williamstown VT

Employment

Pennsylvania Certified Organic announces a job opening for Certification Specialist. Added September 21, 2016. The ideal candidate will have education and / or experience in the following areas: familiarity with regulatory compliance and organic certification, knowledge of organic standards and food science/processing. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania; telecommuting will be considered.

PCO is a growing non-profit organization that works with organic farmers and food producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. PCO provides organic certification services to more than 1000 operations and employs 28 staff and 25 field inspectors. Our staff is dedicated to our mission: to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members.

This is a full-time, exempt position.
Salary range: $40,000 to $50,000, depending on experience.
Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.
Position will remain open until filled. Please send resume and cover letter to: Lia@paorganic.org.

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) announces an opening for Director of Marketing and Development. Added September 21, 2016. This director will lead the Education and Outreach Team and oversee PCO’s resource development, education and outreach, marketing and public relations programs. The ideal candidate will have education and experience in the following areas: writing proposals and securing funding, conducting community education and outreach, and leading marketing initiatives. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team. This position is based in our Spring Mills, PA, office. Remote work locations will be considered.This is a full-time, exempt position.

Salary: $55,000 - $65,000, depending on experience.
Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.
Position will remain open until filled. A full job description is available on our website www.paorganic.org/jobs. Please send resume and cover letter to lia@paorganic.org.

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) announces an opening for Staff Accountant. Added September 21, 2016. The ideal candidate will have education and / or experience in accounting functions including, but not limited to: accounts payable/receivable, generating financial reports, performing journal entries, etc. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania.

This is a full-time, exempt position.
Salary: $40,000 - $50,000, depending on experience.
Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.

Position will remain open until filled. A full job description is available on our website www.paorganic.org/jobs. Please send resume and cover letter to lia@paorganic.org.

NORTHEAST ORGANIC FARMING ASSOCIATION OF VERMONT
FARMER SERVICES COORDINATOR

NOFA-VT was founded in 1971, and works to support organic farms, healthy food and strong communities. NOFA-VT is hiring a full-time Farmer Services Coordinator to coordinate NOFA-VT’s Technical Assistance team, and provide technical services and educational programs to organic and transitioning producers in Vermont. The full job description is posted on NOFA-VT’s web-site here: http://nofavt.org/about-us/join-our-team

Please submit a resume and letter of interest to NOFA-VT, PO Box 697, Richmond VT 05477 or e-mail info@nofavt.org. The job will be open until filled, with the position starting in October. Added August 25, 2016.

California Cloverleaf Farms is searching for an Organic Dairy Farm Herdsman/ Assistant Manager. Added August 24, 2016.

Qualifications: Should have current dairy farm experience with rotational grazing and an emphasis on quality milk production. Strong operational management experience with basic computer skills and milking employee management experience. Field work experience preferred. Conversational Spanish. Owners willing to train a highly motivated person that shares their passion for organic dairying.
Contact: Burroughs Family
Email: meridith@allwestnaturals.com
Phone: 2096787829
Location: Denair, Ca

Apprentice wanted. Added August 17, 2016 Hawthorne Valley Farm is a 500 acre certified biodynamic and organic farm in Ghent, NY. We are looking to hire an advanced livestock apprentice to work with our 60 cow dairy herd, beef herd and pork operation - with a strong focus on the dairy. This is a year long, paid position with housing provided. Previous experience with livestock and specifically with dairy animals is strongly preferred. Tractor experience is also a plus. Position starts ASAP as of September 1st. Please send a resume, cover letter and 2 professional references to apprenticeships@
hawthornevalleyfarm.org

Name: Hawthorne Valley Farm
Email: apprenticeships@
hawthornevalleyfarm.org

Location: Ghent, NY

Organic Valley is seeking a Regional Pool Manager in the Pennsylvania and Maryland regions to support current dairy pool members and to procure new members. Practical dairy knowledge and good communication skills required. Organic production knowledge helpful.
Added August 10, 2016
Joelle Kaufman, Joelle.kaufman@organicvalley.coop, 608-625-3522
One Organic Way, La Farge, WI

Events

For additional information on the events below, click here.

September

September 22, 2016
Continuing the Organic Tradition with the Second Generation
The Hardy Farm, 718 Aney Hill Rd, Mohawk, NY
1 - 4pm, $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm

September 23-25, 2016, 9am - 5pm each day
MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, Maine
Free with MOFGA membership, or $10 in advance for adults, $8 for elders, kids 12 and under are free.

September 29 & 30, 2016
16th Annual NODPA Field Days
Chambersburg Mennonite Church, 1800 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg, PA

October 8, 2016
Grazing Dairy Cow Health & Genetics: Beyond the Basics
Wholesome Dairy Farms, 181 Camp Rd, Douglassville, PA 19518 Registration Opens 9:00 am; program from 9:30-1pm, followed by lunch. Cost: $20 Members, $25 Non-members.

October 15, 2016, 9am-1pm
Productive Riparian Buffers
Happy Hollow Farm, 2486 Orwig Rd, Stewartstown, PA 17363
Cost: $20 Members, $25 Non-members

October 15, 2016, 11am-3pm
Basics of Tractor Safety and Maintenance
Everblossom Farm, 6363 Carlisle Pike, East Berlin, PA 17316
Cost: $20 Members, $25 Non-members

November 4-6, 2016
MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference
Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center
7 Atlantic Highway (Route One), Northport, Maine

Wisconsin Farmer Andy Bures:
A Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship
Master's Perspective

“The farm is located in Antigo, Wisconsin which is 150 miles north of Madison. My grandpa bought the farm after World War II. My father bought it from him in the early 1960’s and then I bought it in 1999.  The farming operations have remained pretty similar over the generations. We’ve always grazed our cattle.
We own 150 acres on a dead end road with woods surrounding three sides of the farm. Another 90 acres are rented from neighbors. We milk around 45 Holsteins and have another 45 head of heifers.   Some of our larger cows have been crossed with Jerseys.  The hybrids seem a bit more hearty and aggressive on pasture.  Heifers are bull bred but we use AI on the milking herd. We added a milking parlor to our hip roof stanchion barn in 2005 and still use the barn for winter housing.   In 2013, we added an addition to the stanchion barn for more housing.” To read the complete interview with Andy Bures please go to:

September Featured Farm >

Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed price update for September 2016

Following some months in 2015 when organic milk production seemed to have slowed, or even declined, 2016 has been a good year for growth in production. Recent efforts to increase numbers of organic dairy producers, by some processors, are now generating increased organic milk flows. NOFA-NY LLC is currently working with the largest group of transitioning farms since the rule change which mandated 100% organic feed for a full year to transition. They currently certify 312 dairy operations, 22 of which are grass-fed certified as well. Transition numbers are continually growing, with 55 farms in transition and an additional 13 farms looking to bring in organic animals to start shipping organic milk. Grass-fed is on the rise too, with nine farms pending certification through NOFA-NY. AMS reports total organic milk products’ retail sales for June 2016 of 217 million pounds, were up 6.7% from June 2015, and up 5.6% from January through June, compared with the same months of 2015. Total organic whole milk products retail fluid sales for June 2016, 78 million pounds, were up 16.2% compared with June last year and up 16.3% January through June compared with the same months of 2015. For the complete article please go to:

September feed and pay prices

Organic Checkoff Update

Letter from the No Organic Checkoff Coalition to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Opposing OTA’s most recent Proposal

Our petition opposing the organic checkoff now has 1762 signatures, more than OTA’s one supporting it. OTA’s slogan is that they can make the much-disparaged checkoff program work for organic as a once-in-a-lifetime multi-commodity program. The No Organic Checkoff Coalition, including 25 organic farmer organizations and businesses, will continue to monitor the progress of the USDA process. For more information please go to: www.noorganiccheckoff.com

Portable Parlors, Robots & Challenges Managing Dairy Animal Flow in Grazing Systems

By Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting

“Managing a grazing system for dairy animals requires that they move from pasture to get milked, and then back to pasture multiple times each day. This requires more planning for lanes and fence locations than on a beef or sheep farm, where the herd is simply moved from one paddock to another and may not return to the barn during the entire grazing season.  Dairy grazing systems also require that the farm has enough pasture land within reasonable walking distance of the milking facility.  If the parlor can be portable, there is more flexibility on the location of the grazing land; but if the milking facility is in a fixed location, the grazing system design requires some careful planning in order for it to work well.” For the complete article please go to:

Portable parlors

And, don’t forget Sarah’s new book: The Art and Science of Grazing, How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems.  Please go to: https://www.chelseagreen.com/farm-garden/the-art-and-science-of-grazing


Added July 26, 2016

Organic Checkoff Update:

Letter from the No Organic Checkoff Coalition to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Opposing OTA’s most recent Proposal

Our petition opposing the organic checkoff now has 1522 signatures, more than OTA’s one supporting it. OTA’s slogan is that they can make the much-disparaged checkoff program work for organic as a once-in-a-lifetime multi-commodity program.
They said “trust us” while they secretly negotiated a GMO labelling Bill that is worthless. They are saying “trust us” as they set up a transition label for organic that will saturate the market and undermine producers’ pay price.
Experience tells us that with OTA, its business as usual in Congress and the countryside. When OTA says, “trust us,” question their track record. It’s time for the OTA to withdraw their proposal for an organic checkoff before they, once again, split the organic community.

The No Organic Checkoff Coalition, representing 1522 (as of 7-25-16) signatories opposed to an organic checkoff, including 25 organic farmer organizations and businesses, sent a letter to USDA AMS responding to the recently revised Organic Trade Association (OTA) Proposal submitted May 3, 2016.  The revised proposal discusses ideas for a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order for organic products, which would be developed under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. To read the complete letter which lays out the argument against an organic checkoff very clearly please go to:

in_check_off_letter_072616.shtml

2016 Field Days

The Future of Organic Dairy Farming: Regenerate, Renew, Refresh

2016 NODPA Field Days: September 29 & 30, 2016 - Chambersburg Mennonite Church, Chambersburg, PA

The 2016 NODPA Field Days, The Future of Organic Dairy Farming: Regenerate, Renew, Refresh, will focus on regenerating our soil, renewing our farms’ infrastructures, and refreshing ourselves in order for our farms and families to thrive into the future.

There will be workshops focused on the soil: Managing for Milk Production per Acre; renewing the farm’s infrastructure: Milking System Tune-Ups; the growing support and infrastructure for the grass-fed milk market, along with an update on the Certified Grass Fed Label, along withnews about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program in New York and Pennsylvania. We will hear about an OREI research project being conducted by the Rodale Institute and the University of Iowa that is Integrating Crops and Livestock to Enhance Organic Farm Stability, Safety and Resilience. And, we will have some critically important updates on the Animal Welfare Rule, Origin of Livestock, Organic Checkoff and Other Issues Relevant to the Organic Community.

For all the details of the Field Days please go to:

Field Days Overview

To register online, go to:

Online registration

To download a Field Days brochure, please go to:

Field Days Brochure

To see photos of previous Field Days please go to:

Field Days Galleries

For an article on the Field Days Keynote Speaker:

Field Days Keynote

Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed Prices

Sales of organic fluid retail milk in May 2016 are the highest recorded in the history of USDA AMS recordkeeping dating back to 2008. USDA AMS data shows sales up by 5.4% January through May 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. Sales of organic whole milk are up 25.5% in May 2016 from sales in May 2015. Year-to-date sales of all organic milk are up 16.4% compared to the same period in 2015. New England continues to see strong growth in utilization of organic whole milk as reported by the Federal Milk Marketing Order 1 with utilization up by 32% in May 2016 over May 2015, and up 15% in June 2016 over June 2015. As we recognize that the organic dairy and beef market is now worldwide, with imports of organic milk, organic milk powder and organic beef manufacturing trim increasing, attention needs to be paid to changes in Europe, especially with the exit of Britain from the European Union. The EU farmgate price is approximately $26.50 per 100 lbs. of milk. Comparatively, retail prices in the EU are lower by about 35%.

For further details of what is happening and some charts, please go:

feed_payprice_update_07262016.shtml

The Art and Science of Grazing

How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems,  by Sarah Flack

An experienced grazier knows the art and science of grazing go hand in hand. Sarah Flack hits the mark with her new book, The Art and Science of Grazing, How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems. It is written for all graziers with all skill and experience levels; it is a great resource to get the beginner off on the right start and the valuable information for the experienced grazier.” Nancy Glazier, Small Farms Specialist, Livestock & Field Crops Team, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Penn Yan, NY reviewed the book for NODPA. Her review can be found at:

The art and science of grazing

Updated Comments on the Proposed Rule: Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices

For the past three months, NODPA worked with Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (MODPA) and Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA) to submit comments on this Proposed Rule to bring some common sense, production-based criteria to regulations that are as specific as possible. Our comments reminded the NOP and organic consumers that organic certification is already the gold standard for animal welfare. It is not just a scorecard of the health and well-being of the livestock but is a third-party certified federal program with a holistic system approach that also considers the impact of the production system on the environment, the quality and content of animal feed, and ensures that livestock are not treated with any antibiotic, artificial hormones or growth stimulants. 

For an article on the key points of the comments submitted to USDA on 7/11/2016, please go to:

livestock/poultry rule

Added May 24, 2016

Proposed Rule: Organic Livestock
and Poultry Practices

On April 13, 2016, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published regulations concerning Animal Welfare with a Proposed Rule entitled Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. The expectation of the organic livestock community was that this rule would concentrate on poultry, especially clarifying outdoor access and building on the Access to Pasture regulation of 2010 by implementing NOSB recommendations. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. Despite assurances from the NOP that the regulation should be viewed through the interpretations of the accompanying webinar (https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic-livestock-and-poultry-practices) the language within the Proposed Rule is what will become law. One of the reasons for the regulation is that both enforcement of existing regulation and NOP Guidance about interpretation of access to the outside for poultry has been ignored, allowing the porch-style poultry operation to double over the last five years. The difficulty of enforcing  the access to the outside for poultry and the amount of market share and profit at stake was further emphasized as conventional and organic poultry producers joined together to override the USDA NOP process of comment on regulation through Congressional action. The National Organic Coalition and the Farmers Union, plus many organizations and individuals, worked together to stop a rider being attached to the appropriations bill in the House and Senate. See their letter >

We delayed the print publication of the May 2016 NODPA News in order to include an article on the Proposed Regulation to ensure that those organic dairies without internet connection would be able to read the rule and send in their comments. To read the article, please go to:

in_livestock-rule-052416.shtml

The Federation of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers) is developing comments to respond to the NOP to ensure that we have a Final Rule that we can live with. We hold regular conference calls and welcome anyone who wants to join the discussion. Until we hear about any extension we are under a tight time limitation to get our comments into the NOP by June 13th 2016, so please send us your comments as soon as possible. Comments can be sent to Ed Maltby at emaltby@comcast.net , or faxed to 1-866-554-9483 or mailed to NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.

OTA updates its Organic
Checkoff proposal

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has sent an amended proposal for an organic checkoff to the USDA AMS, which published it on their website. They have made some technical edits based on USDA feedback, plus some changes based on the nine partial proposals developed by producer groups and their supporters. The OTA changed the definition of research based on feedback from NODPA and the National Farmers Union (NFU) and they made a change to how funds are allocated to ensure that agriculture research and producer education are a higher priority. OTA continue to propose a rather complicated system of nomination of the governing Board members to represent a region based on a non-existent database of organic operations with more than $250,000 in gross organic sales in the previous year. Plus they gave producers fewer seats on the Board, and producers make up only 6 out of the 16 members. Both the allocation of checkoff funds and the final appointment of Board members is the decision of a political appointee, the Secretary of Agriculture. We are all familiar with how those decisions are made in Washington DC.

In conversations with USDA AMS, the no-organic check-off coalition of producer groups has surmised that there is no timeline for when AMS might publish a full proposal on the Federal Register. USDA did say they will accept further comment and analysis of OTA’s amended proposal which we will be supplying in the next few weeks. You have probably been bothered by “robo calls” about the organic checkoff. Producers who have tried to tell the caller that they want to register a no vote have not been allowed to. Producers who have questioned how the $250,000 figure of gross organic sales and the calculation of net organic income will be determined have been told it will be on the honor system of self-declaration. That makes it the first tax levied that is based on the honor system. You will also have received literature claiming that everyone will pay a little and that the majority of the checkoff tax will be paid by handlers/processors. Consumers, retailers, marketers, transportation companies and other service providers will pay nothing, and the system that producers know well, of trickle-down economics, will come into effect as processors pass any check-off costs on to producers with a lower pay price. Growth in organic sales is being fueled by cheap imports, some with questionable integrity, that are undermining the pay price of domestic producers. As we have said many times, if we need domestic organic production to increase we need to pay producers a fair and sustained price for their organic products.

Recent Odairy Discussions

A farmer new to grazing asked how to group his herd of 45 cows with a service bull while outside and on pasture. Another producer was frustrated by two cows with recurrent mastitis. And there was a wide ranging discussion about the proposed animal welfare rule.

MORE >



NODPA, 30 Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342 FAX: 866- 554-9483 PHONE: 413 772 0444
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