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Organic Checkoff
Fielddays 2014

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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.

You can now make easy, secure online credit card payments.










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.


Payprice Summary Chart:
2006 to 2013

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

Pay Price Update:
Pay price moves
up slowly as sales increase and
shortages continue

Added January 15, 2015. It looks like 2015 will be the year when processors start to recognize the realities of organic dairy production and the steady growth of demand in the retail market based on quality and production preference. For more, 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.

Recent Classifieds

Added in November and December, 2014, and January, 2015

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >


Wanted: We are looking for a supplier of organic unsalted butter, about 120,000 lbs annually.
Added December 3, 2014.
Contact: Lea Rubinstein
Phone: 401-515-4595


I am looking to buy a good brown swiss.
Added January 14, 2015.
Contact: Brooke
Phone: 307 246 3399

We are a small family farm located in Northeast Ohio. Our goal is to raise the healthiest family milk cows that we can. We currently have 7 Jersey cows that are fresh (in milk) and ready for delivery. Another 9 heifers are pregnant ... take your choice and get to know your Jersey before she has her calf and starts milking. Added January 1, 2015.
Contact: David R
Phone: 330-340-0307
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio

26 -24 month old registered jersey first calf heifers will start calving in March. $3,000 each price is firm.
Added December 23, 2014.
Contact: Karen cox
Phone: 870-427-2848
Location: Valley Springs, AR

Wanted to Buy: We are looking to buy two very friendly cows that are pregnant and due around early April. Because this farm is open to the public and is an educational farm these cows must be quiet and very friendly. Please email or phone.
Added November 26, 2014.
Contact: Ashley Clements
Phone: 607 267 2407

10 certified organic heifers weighing 300 to 500 lbs for sale in Central NY. Mainly crosses. Excellent condition. Can deliver. Call for details. Contact Ken Welch in Moravia, NY @ 607 898 3994. Can send pictures. Added November 10, 2014.

British White Park breeding bull. Proven, VERY well tempered. Fantastic calving ease. He has done his job well and it's time for some new blood lines. Average hanging weight for my 100% grass fed steers at 18 months old is 650 - 700 LBS for those interested in cross breeding. Trade for replacement White Park Bull would be considered. 3000$
Added November 4, 2014.
Contact: Scott Rowe
Phone: 978-356-5728 x22
Location: Ipswich MA

We have 12 bred Jersey heifers and 1 yearling for sale. Nice calving intervals. 5 springers. 4 in February. 3 in April. 1 yearling heifer. No horns. Sell as a group. $1600 for bred animals and $800 for 1 yearling. Certified organic. Jeffersonville, VT
Phone: 802-644-5138, Email: shoebox2004069@YAHOO.COM. Trucking available in Vermont. Added November 2, 2014.

Forage, Bedding & Grains

Century Grass Farms
1st, 2nd, 3rd, cutting balage individually wrapped. 4x4.5 round bales. Dry hay also available. Reasonable pricing. Trucking now available. Place your orders now! Contact Steve 412.580.9692
Added January 14, 2015.
Contact: Steve Magan
Phone: 412.580.9692

Corn silage: 2014 crop, blue river corn. processed with class 960 with shredlage attachment. packed good and coverd in bunk silo. lots of grain, tests available. 75 a ton at the bunk. can load. Added January 4, 2015.
Contact: derek csendom
Phone: 585-297-0652
Location: new york

650 large square bales NOFA Certified Organic Hay.  Northern Columbia County NY, south of Albany. First, second and third cutting.  On pallets in our barns. Call Tim at 518-929-9018 or email Added January 1, 2015.

60 4x4 bales of haylage individually wrapped. 30 1st cutting (early June)& 30 3rd cutting (September): $40/bale. 20 4x4 bales of 2nd cutting (dry hay): $50/bale. Also available: 28 5x5 bales of 2013 oatlage linewrapped. $30/bale as is or I will individually wrap them for another $15/bale.

These are all certified by NOFA-NY. These are FOB prices but I have a couple of neighbors who haul so I could contact them for you.
Added December 8, 2014.
Contact: Steve Kimball
Phone: 716-267-9272
Location: Falconer, NY 14733

I am looking for a used bulk tank 800-1000 gallon in quality condition. I am also looking for certified heifer hay and bedding. Any help would be appreciated.
Added November 20, 2014
Contact: Shaun Riordan
Phone: 443-252-7970
Location: Shaftsbury, VT


I am looking for a used bulk tank 800-1000 gallon in quality condition. Shaun Riordan; Phone: 443-252-7970; email: Location: Shaftsbury, VT
Added January 14, 2015.

3000 gallon vertical plastic tank with shut off valves. $800 or best offer. 518-727-1712
Added December 2, 2014.
Contact: Tammy Thomas
Phone: 518-727-1712
Location: Greenwich NY


Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) is seeking a FarmFest Coordinator to serve on our Education and Outreach Team. The part time contracted position will be responsible for planning and management of the Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest, held annually on the first weekend of August at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall PA. PCO is a private non-profit organization that works to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members. This position is based in our Spring Mills, PA office. Added November 25, 2014.

Contact: Pennsylvania Certified Organic
Phone: 814-422-0251
Location: Spring Mills, PA


For additional information on the events below, click here.

January 16 & 17, 2015
VT Grazing and Livestock Conference

New Opportunities, Old Problems, Honoring the Soil
Jordan Hall Auditorium, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, 614 W. North Street, Geneva, NY

January 13, 2015
Unlocking the Fertility of your Soil

February 10, 2015
Quality Forage Comes From Planning, Not By Luck

March 10, 2015
Producing, Protecting, and Marketing of Organic Grain

January, 2015
Stockmanship Training Workshops Throughout January in VT & NY

January 19, 2015
100% Grass-fed Dairy Meeting and round-table Discussion with Cheyenne Christianson
Houston Run Community Center, 835 Houston Run Drive, Gap, PA

Plan to Grow More!
King’s AgriSeeds’ 2015 Grow More Forage Events

January 19- Randolph Fire Hall, 70 Main St, Randolph, NY 14772
January 20- Hall Fire House, 4852 New York 14A, Hall, NY 14463
January 21- Joanna’s Café, 145 Main Street, Somers, CT 06071
January 22 - Mo’s Pub & Grill, 3357 State Route 11, Malone, NY 12953
January 23 - Winner’s Circle, 3293 New York 5, Fonda, NY 12068

January 23-25, 2015
NOFA-NY Annual Conference: Soil: The Root of the Movement
Saratoga Hilton and City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

January 24-25, 2015
25th Annual Food & Agriculture Winter Conference
Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ

January 31, 2015
NOFA-NH 13th Annual Winter Conference
Rundlett Middle School, 144 South St, Concord NH 03301

February 3-7, 2015
Nature as Mentor, PASA’s 24th Annual Farming the Future
Conference, State College, PA

February 3 - 22, 2015
2015 Carbon Farming Course: Workshops in Regenerative Agriculture
Red Hook, NY

February 14 & 15, 2015
33rd Annual NOFA Vermont Winter Conference
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

February 17 & 18, 2015
The 22nd Annual Southeast PA Grazing Conference: Maximizing Energy Harvest
Lancaster Ag Headquarters, 60 North Ronks Road, Ronks, PA 17572

February 25-26, 2015
Organic Agriculture Research Symposium
Radisson Hotel, La Crosse, WI

February 26-28, 2015
MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Lacrosse, WI

Aaron and Carly Bell and family

Featured Farm:
Tide Mill Organics, Eastern Maine

Although his father and uncle sold the dairy herd in the 1970’s, eighth generation farmer Aaron Bell of Tide Mill Organics, knew that he wanted to be a dairyman.  It was the stories from family members and the community that inspired Aaron to revive the dairy in the early 2000’s when HP Hood was aggressively seeking raw milk for its entrance into the organic milk sector, having purchased the right to bottle fluid milk under the Stonyfield Farm name.  Situated in the far edge of eastern Maine in Washington County, Tide Mill Organics is a stone’s throw from the Canadian border and the ocean.   The farm is recognized as a National Bicentennial Farm, a rare claim and especially so in this circumstance since not only is the land still in the Bell family but it is still commercially farmed.  In 2000, when Aaron returned to the farm post-college with his wife Carly Delsignore, the farm was 1600 acres- 50 acres of fields, 20-30 acres of marginal but improvable land and the rest wooded. To read more of Sonja Heyck-Merlin article on this family farm, please go to:


Added January 15, 2015

Organic Dairy:
Forecasts for 2015 and Beyond

What does Kevin Engelbert, John Bobbe, Andrew Dykstra, Sharad Mathur, Harriet Behar, Mike Davies, Bruce Drinkman, Miles McEvoy and Andre Brito have in common? As part of our January edition of the NODPA News they shared their perspective on the future of organic dairy from their own point of view. We invited these leaders of organic dairy from different backgrounds and occupations in order to have a variety of perspectives to share with you. We had no editorial control and did not edit their submissions. To read their interesting and unique ideas please go to:


And, to read  Mary Howell and Klaas Martens’ thoughts on the New York Times’ Food for Tomorrow conference, click here:


National Organic Standards Board Update

Jean Richardson, Chair National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) gives an update on what is happening at the Board and the USDA NOP since the last meeting of the Board in Kentucky last November, 2014. Jean continues to share the work of the Board in easy to understand language and gives an insight into what the NOP is doing to strengthen the integrity of the organic seal, plus, did you know that Miles McEvoy goes bird watching in his spare time? To read her complete article, please go to:


Profitability Declines slightly in 2013

That is the headline from Bob Parsons, UVM Extension, from his ongoing study on the profitability of organic dairying in Vermont. This study on the economics of organic dairy involved 34 Vermont dairy farms for the 2013 tax year, found that Return on Assets (ROA) dropped from 1.82% to 1.60%. The study was conducted with the cooperation of the University of Vermont Extension, NOFA-Vermont, Vermont organic dairy farmers, and the generous financial support from Stonyfield Farms, Morrison Custom Feeds, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Green Mountain Feeds, and Yankee Farm Credit. Bob writes, “In conclusion, organic farms are getting by. Organic 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? So while the coming years likely will not see an immediate loss of organic dairy farms, there should be concern for long run viability and 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.” To read the complete article and view the data collected please go to:


Pay Price Update: Pay price moves
up slowly as sales increase and
shortages continue

It looks like 2015 will be the year when processors start to recognize the realities of organic dairy production and the steady growth of demand in the retail market based on quality and production preference. As competition for the milk supply increases, regional buyers of organic milk are becoming more aggressive, with many different incentives available for those that want to switch processors. While an increasing part of the pay price is still the MAP, which can be taken away at the discretion of the processor, the base price has increased and CROPP has made the calculation of their pay price more understandable. To find out what the processors are paying and for a history of demand and supply please go to:


Added December 1, 2014

US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes its unified agenda for Fall 2014: Busy time for NOP and AMS

The Agriculture Department's National Organic Program is going to be one of the busiest food or agriculture agencies in the year ahead, based on the schedule published in the Unified Agenda. Besides the origin of livestock rules (see abstract below), the NOP plans to release aquaculture standards in February, pet food standards by the end of April and apiculture standards in July.

USDA NOP Origin of Livestock with a proposed rule projected to be published in December 2014 with final action in May 2016:

Proposed Rule Abstract: The current regulations provide two tracks for replacing dairy animals which are tied to how dairy farmers transition to organic production. Farmers who transition an entire distinct herd must thereafter replace dairy animals with livestock that has been under organic management from the last third of gestation. Farmers who do not transition an entire distinct herd may perpetually obtain replacement animals that have been managed organically for 12 months prior to marketing milk or milk products as organic. The proposed action would eliminate the two-track system and require that upon transition, all existing and replacement dairy animals from which milk or milk products are intended to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be managed organically from the last third of gestation. Continuation of the two-track system jeopardizes the viability of the market for organic heifers. A potential risk associated with the rulemaking would be a temporary supply shortage of dairy replacement animals due to the increased demand.

As mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill the USDA AMS is aiming to publish a proposed rule to change the commodity promotion law to exempt all organic certificate holders from paying into any commodity check-offs (see abstract below). The proposed rule is already late (missing its legal deadline of 11/30/14) and final action is not projected until next fall. The Organic Trade Association is set to send a proposal to USDA AMS for a mandatory federal organic check-off which means producers may be able to get their money back in time to lose it again when their exemption is taken away with an organic check-off.

Exemption of Producers and Handlers of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law. USDA AMS Marketing Order Administration Branch projected that the proposed rule would be published in November 2014 and final action is projected for July 2015.

Proposed Rule Abstract: As a result of this action, certified "organic" commodities (those comprising at least 95 percent organic components) would no longer be subject to assessment for promotion activities conducted under marketing order or research and promotion programs. In addition, certified organic commodities that are produced, handled, marketed, or imported by operations that also deal in conventional products would be eligible for exemptions. Currently, only products that are certified "100 percent organic" and that are produced and handled by entities that deal exclusively with organic products are exempt from assessments. This action is expected to reduce the assessment obligation for organic industry operators by as much as $13.7 million. Conversely, the impact on the marketing programs will be a loss of approximately $13.7 million in funds for generic commodity promotions.

Busy Time for Organic
Trade Association (OTA):

From OTA’s website: “At the September 17 meeting, the OTA Board voted to move forward to prepare and submit an application to USDA to initiate an industry referendum on an organic research and promotion order.”  The OTA seems to assume that the USDA AMS will approve their as-yet-unpublished proposal for a mandatory federal check-off program as having enough support from the organic community to hold a referendum of those that will be assessed. We do not yet know who will be assessed, what the rate will be, how it will be collected, and many other aspects of the proposal which has gone through a few iterations by a select group of folks appointed by OTA to an internal OTA committee.

OTA should have held a referendum of all organic certificate holders as to whether they want an organic check-off before they proceed to send a proposal to USDA. With all the many pieces of fancy literature and personal phone calls they have financed to promote their ideas, OTA could have used some of those funds to pay an independent entity to perform a referendum on a simple yes/no on whether we need a federal mandated organic check-off /tax. Those organizations that are holding their own referendum of their producer members have had a resounding no to setting up an organic check-off.

ODairy Discussions:

“Diagnosed with gangrene mastitis, a cow had to euthanized.  The farmer described the sudden onset of symptoms, and asked the group for suggestions on how to prevent this from happening again.  A vet on this list responded that there are essentially two causes of gangrene mastitis - either Clostridium or Staph aureus.  Clostridium is a quick killer; it is characterized by a low fever (102.7 to 102.9).  It is a soil borne organism, and is one of those rare things that you see every 20 years or so.  It is definitely not contagious.  The Staph aureus type is characterized by a high fever (105 or so).  It is called "blue bag" in sheep, and is fairly treatable with antibiotics, and the udder won't slough off as it does with the Clostridial type when treated quickly with penicillin.”

NODPA President and New York producer Liz Bawden summarizes what has happened on the Odairy List Serve in her latest regular column, which can be found at:


Want to be part of the discussion? Join Odairy, a free, moderated list serve supported by NODPA at:


Letters and Comments

Disagree with what you’ve read in the NODPA News, Enewsletter or on the web? Think that we have the wrong angle on what is happening or the best production practices? Then please write and let us know, either at or An article in the July-August edition of NODPA News about the Madre method of calf rearing caused Michelle Benrud to question the basis of Paul Van Amburgh’s assumptions and conclusions about what he was practicing on his farm, and the economic reality behind the practices. To read Michelle’s letter and Paul’s and Phyllis’ reply please go to:


On The Road Again: Five Danes in a Van

What do you get when you put two Pennsylvanians and five Danish farmers and organic advisors - and all their gear - in a Chevy van and head out to get the scoop on the state of grass based dairy, Holistic Management and planned grazing in the Northeast?

Well ….. lots of miles (1190 between Sunday evening and Friday night), lots of farms (a dozen), lots of amazing and generous farmers, lots of livestock (cattle of all classes and colors, poultry, sheep and hogs), some glorious scenery and examples of the vast variety of land and farming practices in the region, not much sleep – and amazing experiences, buckets of laughter, and the foundation of friendships and collaborations that are sure to span the years. To read the full article by Susan Beal please go to:


Environment and Behavior:
Biodiversity and Cattle Wellbeing

Today, many people are seeking to understand the complex interactions involved in food production and their implications for both environmental sustainability and human health. Juan Alvez from the University of Vermont and a group of colleagues wondered in particular about the connections between soil biodiversity, forages, animal health and human health. 

In 2012, their research team embarked on a collaborative, long-term study focused on assessing how ecologic habitat disruption is associated with livestock wellbeing and health, and how those in turn impact human wellbeing. With a wider lens, they rapidly concluded that these elements do not exist in isolation. Numerous researchers emphasize (and the team at University of Vermont preliminary data support) that agriculture both receives and provides a diverse array of benefits from healthy ecosystems, while also imposing dis-services when disrupted. To read Juan Alvez full article please go to:


Support NODPA – Now in its 13th Year of working for organic dairy farm families

Have you received your NODPA Fundraising letter yet? If not, it should be in your mailbox any day. When it arrives, we hope you will consider all the ways NODPA works for Organic Dairy farm families and those who support the industry, and send in your check, cash or credit card payment as soon as possible. And, if you already support NODPA through a monthly Milk Check Assignment or during NODPA’s Field Days, we say thanks!

Worried about what the “suits” in Washington DC are up to? NODPA is the only independent organic dairy farmer controlled organization that represents your interest and can keep you informed of what is happening before it is too late to act. We stood up for producer interests with the OTA organic check-off and will continue to do so in the future.

NODPA provides a wide range of resources and services, such as hosting and moderating the Odairy list serve, publishing the print newsletter (NODPA News) 6-times per year, monthly e-newsletter, website, annual Field Days, and advocacy on behalf of all organic dairy farm families through membership in the National Organic Coalition. We keep costs to a minimum but there are still bills to pay. 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.

To contribute to NODPA please go to:

NODPA Fund Drive

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.

Check out the 20 new entries in our business directory ...
... and consider adding your own business. MORE

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