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SAVE THE DATE
NODPA’s 1st Southeast Regional Field Day
AND Ardent & Caroline Landis' Retirement Celebration
Thursday, September 18th, 2008. 9:30 am to 3pm

DAIRY FARMERS: Register by September 15, and the event is FREE. Call NODPA's toll-free number at 1-888-308-9706.

"Dream big! I always wanted to dairy from the time I worked on a dairy farm as a teenage boy for 3 years,” says Arden Landis, “In 1988 when I quit trucking to go into dairy, our farm was a real family farm and a great place for teaching our children how to work and work together."

Arden Landis and his wife Caroline will host NODPA’s first Southeast Regional Field Day at their Green Pastures Farm, 667 Puseyville Road, Kirkwood, PA 17536. The Landis’ have been farming their 115 grazeable acres since 1995 and currently have 100 milking cows that are milked through a 16 unit swing parlor that they installed in 2000. In 1995, they made the “best decision for our farm” and started the organic certification process and have been shipping organic milk to Horizon Organic since July 1999.

In the spring of 2006, Arden decided to rent 90 additional acres about 100 miles from Green Pastures Farm and have it custom farmed to provide forage for his seasonal herd. He has boarded his heifers off the farm for the past 3 years, "Taking the heifers off the farm leaves more forage for the milk cows as well as lightening the work load," said Arden, "this gives us more control of our forages and lowers freight costs."

Arden and Caroline will welcome all dairy producers to the farm with refreshments at 9:30 am on Thursday morning, September 18th and at 10:00 am Arden will lead a tour of the farm. At noon, there will be a locally produced organic meal consisting of cheese and pretzels, string cheese, yogurt straws for starters, followed by barbequed organic chicken, parsley & brown butter potatoes, baked beans, macaroni salad, fresh lettuce salad and healthy dressing, apple crisp and gelato with fresh organic milk, coffee, tea, and juices.

"We wanted to provide a local, organic meal for everyone," said local organic dairy producer and NODPA state representative Roman Stolzfoos, "and, with the support of our sponsors and NODPA, we are able to provide it free to all dairy producers who take the time to join us in celebrating Arden and Caroline’s retirement at this Field Day."

After the meal there will be an update from NODPA Executive Director Ed Maltby about the state of the organic dairy industry where organic producers are losing money for every gallon of organic milk they produce and face a winter of tough decisions. The day will culminate with a round table discussion led by a panel of experienced organic dairy producers including Roman Stoltzfoos, Rodney Martin, Dave Johnson, Forrest Stricker, and Rob Moore, who will discuss many topics including the following:

  • Pay prices –How can we make a living and strategies for a future approach to deciding pay price that is based on defined criteria.
  • Best cost cutting ideas: What can we change this year that will positively affected the bottom line?
  • Will diversification be essential for future economic viability?
  • When the milk check isn't enough to pay the bills anymore, what can we do to take advantage of other skills and resources? 
  • Health issues - feeding enough minerals on reduced grain diets, getting serious about Johne's and other issues

“This is a critical time for the organic dairy industry,” says Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director, “and this discussion will educate us all about what the future holds, and how we can participate in decision making and influence the future of our industry. It promises to be a lively meeting filled with information, discussion, education and networking.”

Registration

There will be no charge to dairy producers who pre-register by Monday, September 15th, with a $10 charge at the door for those dairy producers that do not pre-register. Non-dairy producers will be charged $15. Those wishing to attend can call NODPA’s toll-free number to pre-register: 1-888-308-9706 and if there are any questions, please call Ed Maltby, 413-772-0444, or email at ednodpa@comcast.com or go to www.nodpa.com

A special thanks to these event sponsors who generously provided monetary support and product donations to allow us to provide this event at no cost to dairy producers: Horizon Organic, Organic Cow, Organic Valley, Lancaster Organic Farming Cooperative, Lancaster Grazers, and Dairymaster.