cows in field

21st Annual NODPA Field Days September 30 & October 1, 2021

NODPA Field Days Summary Coming Soon

The 21st Annual NODPA Field Days were held along the beautiful coast of Maine, just down the road from the center of Freeport, Maine. at Wolfe's Neck Center. Maine's Governor, Janet Mills, and Commissioner of Agriculture, Amanda Beal, spoke to the NODPA Field Days audience. Senator Angus King and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree were unable to leave Washington DC to attend due to their legislative schedule, but sent video messages that can be viewed here.

We will have more details soon, so please watch this space for a summary of the 21st Annual NODPA Field Days and a gallery of photos.

Click here for the full 21st Annual NODPA Field Days Brochure

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

8:30-11:30 am Pasture Walk, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment (WNC), Freeport, Maine

Leah Puro, WNC Agricultural Research Coordinator will lead a pasture walk to spotlight the research projects taking place at Wolfe’s Neck Center

Noon - 1:00 pm Registration and Lunch The Mallet Barn, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, 625 Wolfe’s Neck Road, Freeport, Maine 04032

1:00 - 2:30 The Forever Chemicals: What the heck are perfluoroalkyl substances, aka PFAS, and why should we be concerned about them on our organic dairy farms?

Dr. Andrew Smith, Maine State Toxicologist and Program Manager, Environmental and Occupational Health, ME Division of Environmental and Community Health, and Maine CDC, and Tom Simones, Maine State Toxicologist, and Jacki Perkins, MOFGA Dairy Specialist

Andy Smith and Tom Simones will describe the issues and why farmers should be aware of PFAS/PFOS on their farms, and Jacki Perkins will describe how this contamination may impact organic certification.

2:30 - 3:00 Milk Break

3:00 - 4:30 Ask the Vets Q & A: A Roundtable Cow Care Discussion

Dr. Meghan Flanagan, DVM, Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic, Monmouth, Maine and Simon Alexander, DVM, Exeter Veterinary Services, Exeter, Maine

Bring all of your questions, your experiences, and advice to this roundtable discussion led by these two large animal veterinarians.

4:30 - 5:30 NODPA Field Days Social Hour and Trade Show

Enjoy light refreshments while visiting all of the trade show participants, and catch up on all the latest news with your fellow farmers.

5:30 – 7:00 NODPA Annual Meeting and Banquet

Liz Bawden and Kirk Arnold, NODPA Board Co-Presidents, and Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

7:00 – 9:00 Keynote Presentation: Storytelling with Dr. Simon Alexander, DVM

It’s been a tough, long haul this past year as we’ve all dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, and lots of virtual gatherings. To celebrate NODPA’s live, in-person event, we’ve invited Dr. Simon Alexander to share his thoughts on the past year and to entertain us with his incredible stories about life in Maine as a large animal veterinarian.

9:00 pm Meeting adjourns

Friday, October 1, 2021

6:30 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast, Mallet Barn

7:00 – 9:00 Producer-only Meeting: A meeting in which producers can speak freely about all things related to the organic dairy industry

Facilitated by Henry Perkins, Albion, ME, past president, NODPA Board

9:00 – 10:30 Invest In Your Forages like Your Dairy Depends on it—because it does! Panel Discussion

Sara Ziegler, Soils and Crops Coordinator, University of Vermont Extension’s Soils and Crops Team, facilitator, and Mike Brown, Meadowbrook Farm, China, Maine, and Melanie and Patrick Harrison, Harrison’s Homegrown Organic Dairy Farm, Addison, VT.

Panel members will describe the importance of investing in your forage system and the strategies they’ve integrated into their management systems. (For an in-depth description of this session, please read Sara Ziegler’s session description in the July NODPA News' NODPA Field Days article, on page 16.)

10:30 – 11:00 Industry and Policy News: Updates on the issues that are critical to all organic dairy farmers

Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

11:00–12:00 pm Introduction to Wolfe’s Neck Farm

Ben Gotschall, Dairy Farm Manager, WNF Dairy Grazing Apprentice Program Apprentices, and Andre Brito, DVM, PhD., Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Nutrition and Management, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

In preparation for the farm tour, Ben Gotschall and staff at the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment will discuss their mission, infrastructure and educational programs, including the Dairy Grazing Apprentice Program and other farmer training programs, and Andre Brito will describe their current research on feeding seaweed to cows to manage methane emissions.

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 pm Farm Tour: Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment

We will board the WNC wagons for a guided tour of the farm, research sites and grounds of WNC.