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.
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 November 2015
Added January 27, 2016. Recent data published by the USDA-AMS show a continuing slight reduction in retail sales of organic non-fat fluid milk for October 2015, and a small increase in sales of full fat and 2% fluid milk. While retail fluid sales have declined, the retail price has increased and there are still shortages on supermarket shelves. The drop in sales can be attributed to a shortage of supply and milk being diverted to manufacturing as demand for the higher margin organic dairy non-fluid products is increasing.
For more details and charts of trends, go to:
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.
Added in September, October and November, 2015
For full classifieds, click here.
Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >
Wanted: 40 to 80 certified organic milk cows.
Added February 1, 2016.
Contact: Mike Compagna
Location: Middlebury, Vt
Wanted! Certified organic cows ( Holsteins and Jerseys) fresh or whole herds for import to Canada for different organic producers. Please contact Sebastien Dion at 1-519-320-0656. Locations: Canada, various locations. Added January 11, 2016.
Certified Organic Cows for sale. $2500.00 a piece you pick!
Added January 4, 2016.
Contact: Daniel Miller
Location: Darien Center, NY
For sale: 140 Certified Organic Cows, Jersey/Jersey Cross, $2700 each, 40 heifers
Added December 16, 2015.
Contact: Jeff Browning
Location: Curryville, MO
Seeking two certified organic Jersey cows, either currently milking or about to freshen, to add to established organic herd. Will need to see certification, health and quality records before purchase. Price negotiable. Added December 8, 2015.
Contact: David Bright
Location: Downeast Maine
Forage & Grain
For Sale Hay
50 4x4 wrapped round bales, certified organic. Some early June cut, some 2nd cutting. $45 each. Phil Cutting, 802-254-6982. Location: Guilford, VT
Added Feburary 8, 2016.
Organic wrapped June cut clover haylage $45.00 /bale
Added Feburary 1, 2016.
Name: Butterworks Farm
Phone: 802-744-6023, 802-323-9304
Location: Westfield, Vt.
300 Dairy Quality Certified Organic 4 x 5 baylage for sale
Tight, Net Wrapped. Processed and Forage Tests available
Can load as needed. $55.00 each Volume discounts
Call or text: 765-277-3352 or 315-749-8880
Added January 16, 2016.
Name: Farm at Cold Brook, Location: Poland NY
For Sale: 250+ 4x4 round bales, mostly grass mix; baleage, 1st & 2nd cut dry hay; NOFA-NY Certified firstname.lastname@example.org , 716-267-9272 (leave message) Kimvale Farm, Falconer, NY, 14733 (Chautauqua County) Added January 11, 2016.
For Sale: Certified organic shell corn, large quantities. Delivery available or pick up. Contact Bob Blackston, email: Bob.email@example.com or phone: 740 416 9105.
Added November 10, 2015.
Seeking Assistant Herd Manager (Added November 24, 2015)
Brookford Farm is a large, diversified operation nestled along the banks of the Merrimack River in central New Hampshire, a short drive north of Concord. The farm acquired this 650-acre plot and moved from a leased location four years ago. We grow about 40 acres of certified organic vegetables, raise pastured layers, broilers, and hogs, and rotationally graze our dairy and beef animals. The dairy cows’ diet is supplemented with organic grain, but we feed no soy, corn, or corn silage. In winter the ladies are kept in a bedded pack barn and fed bales when they’re not being milked in our 6-stall (8 by next fall) step-up parlor. Our milk is all bottled raw or turned into various cultured products right here on the farm, and moved through our 300 member year-round CSA, farmers markets, and local groceries and restaurants.
As we grow, we are looking for new people to join our team. We currently have 65 cows in milk, and anticipate 80 by the end of next year. We hope to have the herd certified organic by 2020 (when all the cows will have been born on the current plot), but we follow organic and biodynamic principles. Willingness to learn about and implement alternative veterinary treatments is key, as we do not use antibiotics. Our cows are a mix of various breeds, including Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorn, and Guernsey. We are now breeding in primarily Normande for their dual-purpose qualities and docility.
Yearly, we send about 20 steer to the freezer, and this winter we hope to make way for a perimeter fence around part of our property that the beef herd will be rotating through next year. Experience or interest in soil and pasture improvements, silvopasture, and rotational grazing is a plus.
The assistant herd manager would be expected to milk 5 shifts per week, feed out bales and bed down barns through the winter, monitor herd and calf health, set up and move temporary fencing during the grazing season, and assist with construction projects. Those with tractor experience (preferred) may expect to help with mucking out, turning compost, cropping, and haying. Once settled in, the candidate will be expected to anticipate and execute tasks on their own or with the livestock team.
Previous animal husbandry experience is required, and dairy experience is preferred, but not absolutely necessary. We are looking for patient individuals who are committed to low-stress livestock handling. The ideal candidate would be observant and organized, possess strong communication skills and a positive attitude, and be proactive and hardworking. Must be capable of lifting 50lb bags multiple times a day and working through inclement weather.
There is no staff housing at this time, but the farm hopes to find a house to rent nearby in the coming months
Compensation based on experience. Please send a resume, two references, and a brief letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in a different type of position on the farm, or have a partner who would also be looking for employment, contact for availability.
Ideal start date is January 1st, but we could wait until as late as March 1st for the right candidate.
Location: Canterbury, NH
Herd Manager or Herdsperson
SideHill Farm is an organically managed grazing dairy in western Mass, producing yogurt and raw milk. We are seeking a skilled cow person to manage our milking herd.
Responsibilities include milking, milk quality, feeding, herd health, monitoring heats; maintenance of milking equipment, calf and barn chores.
Minimum 2 years’ experience, preferably with organic dairy and grazing. Calm and gentle with animals, skilled with tractors and equipment. Observant, patient, responsible, clean, fun to be around.
Year-round position. Competitive pay, 5.5 days/week, paid time off.
Visit http://www.sidehillfarm.net/jobs/ for a full job description. Added November 8, 2015.
Contact: Amy Klippenstein
Phone: 413 339 0033
Location: Hawley, Massachusetts
Full time help wanted on organic, grass-fed dairy. Milking, feeding, cleaning, field and fence work. Dairy cow knowledge and experience necessary, but will train for all other aspects of the job. Added November 3, 2015.
Contact: Adam Tafel
Phone: (h)607-263-5774 or (c)607-434-6440
Location: Laurens, NY
For additional information on the events below, click here.
Starting January 9th and ending May 28th, 2016
Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program: Women Farmers in New York
Location: Oneonta, NY
Thursday evenings – January 14th to February 18th – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Grazing Management – Improve Your Triple Bottom Line Through Better Grazing (BF231)
Webinar course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project
Starting January 14 and ending March 17, 2016
Every Thursday from 6pm-9pm
Farm Business Planning Course
Location: Ithaca, NY
January 22-24, 2016
2016 NOFA-NY Winter Conference
Saratoga Hilton and City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
The 34th Annual Organic Farming and Garden Conference: Good Hard Work: Ecosystems, Economics, Energy and Equity
February 3-6, 2016
PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference
The Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA
Friday, February 5th – 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School
Anthony’s Banquet Hall, 746 Route 23B, Leeds
February 8 & 9, 2016
5th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference
Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, MA
February 10, 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Grazing Guides for Dairy System: Diversified Grazing System
Thursday, February 11th – 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Grazing Systems and Forage Quality of Grasses for Organic Dairy Production
Webinar by eOrganic
February 12-13, 2016
Winter Green-Up Grazing Conference
Century House, Latham (Albany County, NY)
February 13-15, 2016
Our Soil, Our Health, 34th NOFA Vermont Annual Winter Conference
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
February 14th-19th, 2016
2016 Biodynamic Intensive at Hawthorne Valley Farm
Location: Hawthorne Valley Farm, 327 Route 21C, Ghent, NY 12075
February 16-17, 2016
Grass Fed Opportunities, Lancaster County Graziers 2016 Conference
Lancaster Ag, 60 North Ronks Road, Ronks, PA 17572
Saturday, February 20th – 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
New Hampshire Grazing Conference
McLane Audubon Center, Concord, NH
February 25 – 27, 2016
26th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference
March 7 to April 11, 2016
Understanding the Business, Tax, and Regulatory Implications of Your Farm
An online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, an initiative of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Small Farms Program.
Saturday, March 12, 2016, 7:45am - 5:30 pm
4th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference
Northeastern University, Boston, Mass
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference
Holiday Inn, Liverpool/Syracuse, NY
Thursday, March 24th – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Unique Fly Control Methods for Organic Dairy Production
Webinar by eOrganic
April 6, 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Gaining Control of Parasite Issues in Grazing Systems
Featured Farm: Lynd Family Farm
Geordie and Emery Lynd, Walden, VT
Added January 27, 2016. In June of 2010, barely in their mid-20’s, George and Emery Lynd closed on the tuckered out 290 acre farm during the midst of the downward economic plunge that impelled organic dairy consumers back to the conventional cooler. The farm, located in Caledonia County, in the hamlet of Walden, is perched at 1700 feet on the north facing side of an open hill exposed to the wrath of the Northeast Kingdom’s notoriously long winters and fierce gales. To read how they have survived and grown, please go to:
Added January 27, 2016Organic Exemption from Check-offs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced at the end of 2015 that they will extend the organic farmer exemption from conventional commodity checkoffs to ALL organic farmers, effective February 29, 2016. Organic farmers are no longer required to pay into conventional checkoff promotion programs that promote conventional products directly competing with their organic products. This is a big win for the organic sector—checkoff programs are not a good match for independent organic farmers. Those farms that are already exempt from paying into their conventional check-offs do not have to re-apply as their exemption will continue. Those that have previously not applied for exemption will need to fill out a revised form AMS-15 (not yet available); submit that form to the commodity check-off they are currently paying into; wait up to thirty days for the check-off Board to approve the exemption or ask more questions; then work with their buyers to ensure that the check-off money is not taken out, or submit a request for reimbursement to the checkoff Board. This process has to be repeated annually. The big winners here will be the milk processing companies (including those large, vertically integrated dairies) that are currently paying into the fluid milk assessment of 20 cents per hundred pounds for Class 1 milk – they will save over $4.5 million per year in payments. For more information please go to:Check-off’s are not inevitable
For those of you that assume once the OTA submitted their proposal for a check-off that it is inevitable, look at the experience of the Hardwood Checkoff:
The United States Department of Agriculture terminated the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order program proposal, commonly called the Hardwood Checkoff, on Oct. 28, 2015.
The Hardwood Checkoff would have assessed wood mills of certain sizes in order to fund promotions for the hardwood industry, similar to the “Got Milk?” and “The Other White Meat” campaigns for the milk and pork industries.
The USDA terminated the proposal because of critical public comments, lingering and substantive questions and significant proposed modifications from key stakeholders.
For more information please go to:
-for-flooring-industry.html and look at the opponents website: http://www.nohardwoodcheckoff.com/.
Opposed to OTA’s proposed organic check off? If you are going to a meeting or conference this winter, download these handouts (EMBEDED LINK) and continue the education process, plus encourage folks to go to www.noorganiccheckoff.comProfitability of Organic Farms
Bob Parsons of UVM Extension concludes his excellent article on the results of his survey of organic farms now in its tenth year with the following: “In conclusion, organic farms are getting by. Organic production is not the road to riches for many; however it has been a key vehicle of survival for many of the smaller farms who likely would be out of business if they had not had the option to go organic. Higher milk prices are needed but can the market absorb a higher price without losing consumer demand? While the coming years likely will not see an immediate loss of organic dairy farms, there should be concern for long term viability and a sustainable and healthy supply of organic milk from Vermont farms. Without a higher price, organic dairy farms have only the same options they had available when on the conventional treadmill; add more cows and produce more milk per cow to meet rising expenses.” For the full article and lots of data please go to:Recent ODairy Discussions:
Over the New Year some of you may have had trouble with receiving ODairy post because of changes initiated by some of the internet companies. Our technical team of Chris Hill and Jeremy Eastburn worked on it with our web provider and, I think, has solved the problem. If you are still not getting the Odairy posts then try the Spam folder of your web server and computer. If none of those works, then please contact us. Apologies for any inconvenience. Join the active and informative email list serve by going to:
To follow the thread of past discussions, visit Odairy’s archives on NODPA’s website at nodpa.com
‘Baby, its Cold Outside’:
This timely article by Juan P. Alvez, Pasture Technical Coordinator, Center for Sustainable Agriculture – UVM Extension, gives some important tips on how to keep livestock productive and healthy when we have extremes of weather. For the complete article please go to:Feed & Pay Prices
Recent data published by the USDA-AMS show a continuing slight reduction in retail sales of organic non-fat fluid milk for October 2015, and a small increase in sales of full fat and 2% fluid milk. While retail fluid sales have declined, the retail price has increased and there are still shortages on supermarket shelves. The drop in sales can be attributed to a shortage of supply and milk being diverted to manufacturing as demand for the higher margin organic dairy non-fluid products is increasing. Manufacturers and retailers are continuing to look at imports as a more steady supply of both finished organic product (cheese); bulk product to be packaged within the US and organic powder because pricing and supply are preferable to buying domestic. Producers are continuing to use the end of their contract and cooperative agreements to move to other buyers, especially more regional buyers in the northeast. Conventional producers are examining their ability to transition to organic production, especially with the lower conventional price in 2015, which has resulted in enquiries to NODPA from Farm Credit about the state of the organic dairy market, as there is no independent data at the USDA. The only Federal Milk Marketing Order to publish data on organic utilization is Order 1 (Northeast) and their data show that utilization of organic whole milk had increased by 25% to 13,068,122 lbs. in November 2015 compared to 10,452,276 lbs. in November 2014. Non-fat and Reduced Fat organic milk utilization only increased marginally by less than 1%. Those transitioning to organic and their advisors should always be aware of the learning curve on livestock husbandry skills and practices and also pay close attention to restrictions imposed by their land base, plus the increased cost of organic dairy production as clearly expressed by Bob Parsons’ ongoing study. For the complete article and charts please go to:
Help USDA AMS decide if there is support for an Organic Check-Off– register your opposition now
NODPA is AGAINST ANY ORGANIC CHECK-OFF and will continue to organize against it, but OTA has purchased the right to submit a proposal so we need to ensure any process is democratic. USDA AMS has questioned the support for OTA proposal so please register your opposition to a check-off (if you haven’t already done so) by going to noorganiccheckoff.com or write directly to Ed Maltby, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.Regional Round Up of Producers,
Aaron Bell –Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine – Horizon – 45 cows in milk. Other than dreaming of a vacuum drone under the Christmas tree that would put strewn feed back in Tide Mill Farm’s feed bunks, Aaron Bell reports that his farm is in better straights than this time last year.
Kirk Arnold – Truxton, New York – Organic Valley- 125 cows in milk
Kirk said he is feeling relatively positive about the farm’s economy as they close in on 2015. They have enjoyed the higher milk prices of the past few years. It has allowed some overdue upgrades to both their equipment and barn.
Liz Bawden- Hammond, New York- Horizon- 55 cows in milk “Our farm is in a better situation than last year. Feed quality is much better, contributing to higher milk production.”
Jeep Madison- Shoreham, Vermont – Horizon- 60 cows in milk
Jeep said that things are better than they have been in quite a few years. They’re short on feed but usually plan on buying feed anyway.
George Wright – Wright Dairy, Hermon, New York – Upstate Niagara – 50 Cows in milk
“Here in northern NY we are experiencing above normal temperatures for the fall and looks like they will continue on into the winter.”
Roman Stoltzfoos- Spring Wood Organic Farm, Kinzers, Pennsylvania–Natural By Nature- 200 cows in milk. Roman reported that the economic situation on his farm is better than last year but feels that, realistically, the pay price is $5-10/cwt. lower than it should be.
Rick Segalla – Canaan, Connecticut – Organic Valley- 115 Cows in milk.
Rick reported he will change processors in March. He will be switching from Organic Valley to Calabro cheese. Calabro Cheese was the first company that bought his organic milk and he’s going back. The pay price is higher.
John Amey – Indian Stream Farm, Pittsburg, New Hampshire – Organic Valley – 43 Cows in milk. John reported that he’s been telling everybody that there’s never been a better time to be a farmer. He survived the Hood thing because of Organic Valley.
To read the complete article compiled by Sonja Heyck-Merlin, please click here.
Added December 15, 2015
Karen Hoffman, Resource Conservationist – Animal Science, USDA-NRCS, Norwich, NY
It is once again the time of year to begin thinking about winter feeding. In most areas the pastures have either slowed significantly or completely stopped growing, and stored forage will need to be fed to cows for a few months. A concern that some organic dairy farmers have expressed is the cost of organic grain, and those who are 100% grass-fed want to plan their forage inventories. What can you do that will help keep the cost as low as possible, as well as keep cows healthy and productive through the winter? To read the complete article please go to:
Local Farms Fund (LFF) is a new farmland investment fund that supports young and early stage, sustainable farmers by providing secure land access. The fund’s goal is to provide lease-to-own land arrangements, with the option for the farmer to purchase the land from the fund after 5 years. LFF’s lease-to-own model provides essential land security to the farmer, while the farmer is developing his or her farm business. Recently, Sonja Heyck-Merlin, NODPA News contributing writer and Maine organic dairy farmer, interviewed Kevin Egolf, Co-Founder and Manager of the Local Farms Fund. To read his responses please go to:
By Bethany Wallis, NOFA-NY Education Director
NOFA-NY Inc. announces a new program to help dairy farmers transition to organic management. With the current downturn in conventional milk pricing, many farmers who have been on the fence about transitioning to organic management practices are now taking a good hard look at the organic marketing option as a way to increase farm income. They are also evaluating an increase in marketing opportunities that organic processors are providing with new grass fed price premiums. This may be the largest transitioning group NOFA-NY has seen since farmers were trying to get in before the 1 year, 100% organic feed rule change. For more details please go to:
For all the detailed solutions please read the full article by NODPA President Liz Baldwin:It’s Time for the Annual
We hope your NODPA Fund Drive letter arrived in November. Thanks to all who have generously responded. If you haven’t yet sent in your contribution, please take a moment to consider all the ways NODPA works for Organic Dairy farm families and those who support the industry, and send in your annual contribution today. If you already support NODPA through the monthly Milk Check Assignment or during NODPA’s Field Days, we say thanks!
Do you wonder how the events happening in Washington, whether in Congress or at the USDA, are impacting your organic dairy farm? NODPA is the only independent organic dairy farmer-controlled organization that represents your interests and can keep you informed of what is happening before it is too late to act. Are you wondering how to be informed of what the different processors are paying and what opportunities exist to sell your milk? Do you want to know and understand the current retail price for organic milk? Are you interested in learning new and successful animal health care methods, new production practices, and what other producers are doing? The NODPA News print edition, NODPA E-newsletter, and the NODPA website are full of the best and most up-to-date information.
NODPA provides a wide range of resources and services, such as hosting and moderating the ODairy listserv, publishing the print newsletter (NODPA News) 6-times per year, the monthly e-newsletter, managing the resource-rich website, organizing and hosting the annual NODPA Field Days, and providing advocacy on behalf of all organic dairy farm families through membership in the National Organic Coalition. Although we keep costs to a minimum but there are still bills to pay, and your generous support is needed.
“NODPA supporters are dedicated organic dairy farmers and industry professionals; hardworking, committed to the principles of organic farming and focused on operating their businesses in the most efficient and informed way possible,” said organic dairy producer and NODPA Board President Liz Bawden, “We work long hours and have come to expect reliable information delivered in the most convenient manner possible, and NODPA delivers! We know you depend on NODPA for the latest organic dairy news and education and that your support is a vote for the work we do.”
You can also donate online at www.nodpa.com/
donate.shtml, said Nora Owens, NODPA Fundraising Campaign Coordinator, “And, if you have questions or need assistance, please give me a call at 413-772-0444 or email noraowens@
comcast.net.” Your generous financial support will help NODPA continue to provide the valuable resources and services that you have come to depend on, so please take a moment and send in your pledge today.
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.
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