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Field Days 2018

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The 18th Annual NODPA Field Days

Tools for Survival: Weathering the Current Dairy Crisis
While Maintaining Organic Integrity

September 27 & 28, 2018

Yarrowsburg Mennonite Church
2142 Rohrersville Road, Knoxville, Maryland 21758

NODPA is offering an early-bird rate for those who register by Wednesday, September 19th. You can still pay in-person but you must let us know that you are planning to attend (by phone: 413-772-0444, email, or mail, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342) by September 19th. FOR FURTHER DETAILS, PLEASE SEE THE REGISTRATION FORM.


Borchure and Sponsor Packet at bottom of page.

Lakeview Organic Grain^

Cornucopia Institute^
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA)
The Fertrell Company^
Maple Hill Creamery^
Organic Valley/CROPP* **
Sarah Flack Consulting^*
Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.

Acres USA*
Albert Lea Seeds
Buffalo Molasses LLC*
King’s AgriSeeds^
Lancaster County Graziers
Organic Dairy Farming Cooperative
PASA Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship^
Rodale Institute
Trickling Springs Creamery**
Useful Farm Products*

^ Trade Show, * Product Donation, ** Food Donation

We are excited to announce that for the first time, the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days will be held in Maryland. These days, with an oversupply of milk and historically low milk prices, farmers continue to reach for all of their tools to do the best jobs they can under difficult financial circumstances. At the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days, we will be providing reliable tools and practical strategies to help farmers weather the current dairy crisis without sacrificing organic integrity. There will be hands-on, farmer-to-farmer sessions in which everyone can share innovative low-cost and no-cost strategies to maximize net income; to rethink management practices to increase efficiency; even hear all the options available to farm families as they consider the future within the current realities of the organic dairy industry. We will look at the future of the grass-fed label and will tackle the very important issues facing the organic dairy industry. Sarah Flack will join us to provide farm families with the tools to improve both the farm’s decision-making capacity and their financial bottom line by demystifying financial recordkeeping. According to Sarah Flack, “Financial literacy, such as understanding the farm’s cash flow and the importance of financial recordkeeping, is extremely important for farm management especially in these very lean financial times.” For more details, click on the schedule, above.


The Crisis in the Organic Dairy Movement: History, Analysis, and What Farmers Can Do to Balance the Playing Field

In order to keep a solid focus on maintaining the integrity of the organic label we have invited Mark Kastel as our keynote speaker. Mark, the co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, a populist farm policy research group based in Wisconsin, has been a long-time advocate for farm families who is devoted to the integrity of the organic label. His professional experience includes political consulting and lobbying on behalf of family farm groups and business development work benefitting family-scale farmers. Mark’s keynote presentation, The Crisis in the Organic Dairy Movement: History, Analysis, and What Farmers Can Do to Balance the Playing Field, will be particularly timely given the challenges facing organic dairy farm families and the many changes happening in today’s organic dairy industry. There will be plenty of time for Q&A and discussion following this presentation.


In addition to a very timely, informative educational program, there will be two farm tours.

On Thursday morning, Myron and Janet Martin will host a farm tour at their Peace Hollow Farm, just next door to the Yarrowsburg Mennonite Church. The Martin’s farm a total of 218 acres and is an all-grass dairy located in a mile-wide valley in Washington County, Maryland, bound by the Appalachian Trail to the east, the Potomac River to the south and Elk Ridge to the west. Their entire herd, including calves and heifers, has been grain-free since 2009. They have a thriving farm stand and organic beef market.

On Friday afternoon, we will travel about 10 minutes down the road to Holterholm Farms, located in Jefferson MD, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Frederick County, Maryland. Ron and his son, Adam Holter, farm together full-time. The farm has been grass-based since 1995 and was certified organic in 2005. The Holter’s own 207 acres and rent close to another 100. Both Myron Martin and Ron and Adam Holter are members of the Maryland Grazers Network, a mentorship program that pairs experienced livestock, dairy, sheep, and poultry producers with farmers who want to learn new grazing skills. We have invited members of this team, including Washington County Cooperative Extension agent Jeff Semler and University of Maryland’s Dale Johnson to participate in Field Days workshops and join the farm tours to further explain their work and answer questions.

Field Days Information

The 18th Annual NODPA Field Days program will be filled with information sessions, discussions and educational workshops that focus on the important and timely issues facing all organic dairy farm families. In addition, we will have a full trade show, our annual social hour and banquet featuring delicious local and organic food, and NODPA’s Annual Meeting on Thursday evening. Our Producer-Only meeting takes place bright and early Friday morning, and will follow a continental breakfast.

Meeting attendees will be able to visit the diverse trade show throughout the meeting, and will have many opportunities to meet new people and catch up with old friends. For more information or if you have questions about sponsoring or exhibiting at the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days, contact NODPA Field Days coordinator Nora Owens any time at or 413-772-0444.


It is recommended that you use a GPS or do a Mapquest or Google search for the best directions from your location. The following directions are not detailed.

To Yarrowsburg Mennonite Church, 2142 Rohrersville Road, Knoxville, Maryland 21758

  • From the North (New York): Take 81 South to US 15/501 South to US 340 West to MD 67 North, Rohrersville Road, Knoxville.
  • From New England: Take 95 South to US 340 West to MD 67 North, Rohrersville Road, Knoxville.
  • From the West (Pittsburgh, PA area): Take 76 East to 70 East to US40 East to MD 67 South, Rohrersville Road, Knoxville.


There are a number of moderately priced motel accommodations in the region. Travel websites, such as or will help you locate good lodging options in the area. The following are distances from the meeting site:

  • Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: approximately 10 minutes
  • Fredrick, Maryland: approximately 25 minutes
  • Brunswick, MD: approximately 15 minutes
  • The KOA Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefield KOA, 343 Campground Road, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (304-535-6895) is ten minutes away and has campsites suited for tents and trailers, and cabins.


The mission of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance is to enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the wellbeing of the organic dairy industry as a whole. Contact Ed Maltby, Executive Director, by phone, 413-772-0444, or by email, Visit the website at or If you have questions about the NODPA Field Days, contact Nora Owens, NODPA Field Days Coordinator, at or 413-772-0444.