ADVERTISE HERE! Or contact Nora Owens: 413-427-7166 | OR click here.
nodpa logo


Organic Checkoff

Field Days 2018
Field Days 2017
Field Days 2016
Field Days 2015

Field Days Archives

NODPA Industry News
National News
Feed & Grain Prices Organic Pay Price
O-Dairy ListServ

Farmer Classifieds
Business Directory
Contact Us

Featured Farms

Support NODPA


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.

Please share our website!


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 July 2018

Added August 7, 2018.

USDA AMS reports total organic milk products sales for May were 219 million pounds, down 3.1 percent from May 2017, but up 0.1 percent January-May 2018 compared with the same period of 2017. Organic whole milk sales for May 2018, 88 million pounds, were down 0.1 percent compared with May of the previous year, but up 5.6 percent year-to-date 2018 compared with 2017.

For the full report please go to:

Pay Price July 2018

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.

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.

Recent Classifieds

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >


We are looking to partner with someone willing and able to work part time on our farm in exchange for rent. Brand new c. 1300 SF duplex unit in scenic Georgia, VT. 3BR, 1.5 bath, with attached garage. Breathtaking mountain views. Private and rural living, minutes from St. Albans or Milton. Ready for move in on July 1st. References required. Ron Sweet, Added July 7, 2018.

Dairy herd manager opening. We are a 35-cow organic, 100% grass-fed Jersey dairy. Manager will be responsible for 8-10 milkings/week, herd care, records, intensive pasture rotation management, calf care and records, herd health. Apartment on farm.
Added June 5, 2018.
Name: Larson Farm and Creamery
Phone: 802-645-0865
Location: Wells, VT

Experienced Haying Equipment and Machinery Operator wanted by Butterworks Farm. April 1- December 20. Work 50-60 hours per week. Butterworks is looking for a team oriented individual able to operate and maintain tractors, loader, manure spreader, fertilizer spreader, mower, rake, round baler and square baler. Should have familiarity with ecological organic farming, carbon, soil building and conservation practices. Please call or email.
Name: Butterworks Farm. Email: Phone: 802-624-9304
Location: Westfield, Vermont

Career opportunity on a progressive organic dairy. Herdsman/assistant manager responsibilities. Housing, parlor, good equipment, opportunity for equity all available.
Name: Doug Murphy. Email: Phone: 716-761-3131 Location: Sherman NY

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) announces a job opening for an Executive Assistant. This position will serve as the primary point of contact and support for constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have education and experience in customer and/or executive support. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team-oriented environment in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania; telecommuting will be considered. 

PCO is a growing non-profit organization that works with organic farmers and food producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. PCO provides organic certification services to more than 1000 operations and employs 30 staff and subcontracts with more than 30 field inspectors.  Our staff is dedicated to our mission: to ensure the integrity of organic products and provide education, inspection, and certification services that meet the needs of our members.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. 

Salary Grade 2: $47,500 - $58,000, depending on experience.

To view a job description visit:

Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.

Position will remain open until filled. Please send resume and cover letter to Added March 29, 2018.

Forage and Grains

For Sale: May & early June grass as 4X5 dry round or 4X4 individual baleage.  Delivery available from Ithaca in 14 bale loads within NYS. Added June 14, 2018.

Carl Crispell

Certified Organic Early June first and second cutting wrapped balage. $35/bale. 1st and 2nd dry hay as well. $35/bale. Will trade for dairy cattle. Added March 14, 2018.
Name: Kori Stay
Phone: 315 323 2855
Location: Gouverneur, NY


Certified, Organic, Jersey Young Stock. Added July 11, 2018.
5 Bred heifers
4 Short bred heifers
11 calves
For more information call 802-584-4764 or email
Name: Boltonville Dairy
Location: Wells River

Cows for Sale: We are slowing down for a season and are scaling back our herd. We have 8 -12 milking cows for sale, plus one due in May, one in June and 3 due in July. They are primarily grade Holsteins with 2 Ayrshires, one grade and one registered. If you would like more information or to look at the cows, call Gary Tweedie at 315 287-1631, please leave a message if we are not available to answer the phone.

Top Breeding Bulls Ready To BREED! *Vermont* Last year I started raising a half dozen top quality breeding bulls from the best milkers in our herd. Now that grazing season is (finally) around the corner, I am looking to sell to a good home due to space limitations. Age ranges are 6-14 months old. Some are ready to breed NOW with the rest ready later this Spring. Breeds are Jersey/Dutch belted crosses, Holstein, pure Jersey (including one registered). Top AI Sires with EXCELLENT genetics. Also would make wonderful 4-H projects, but only willing to sell to a good home. All organically raised. Based in Georgia, VT. I am near McCracken’s, so trucking is easy to arrange (and can be inexpensive especially to NY State and other areas in the Northeast). Call 802-582-9026 (NO TEXT) or email for details. Ron Sweet

COWS WANTED: A group of Amish farmers between Albany and Utica who are looking to purchase a herd of about 100 organic certified cows with an existing contract with DanoneWave. The farmer’s name is Eli Miller and he can get a phone message at 518-853-3345, or contact me, Jenny Nelson, at

Full organic grassfed herd for sale. Dutch belted crosses. Fresh 1-2 months. Milking 45-70 pounds. Added March 18, 2018.
Name: Doug Murphy
Name: Joshua Grobelny
Phone: 3152249818
Location: Moravia, NY

80 nice organic cows and bred heifers for sale.  Mixed breed and crossbred herd.
Nice grazing farm could be leased. Added March 11, 2018.
Name: Doug Murphy
Phone: 7167613131
Location: Sherman  NY


For additional information on the events below, click here.

Advance Notice:
December 2 – 5, 2018
7th National Grazing Lands Conference: Taking the Gamble out of Grazing
Peppermill Resort and Casino, Reno, NV

Adam bringing the cows in for milking.

Featured Farm:
Holterholm Farms, Jefferson, Maryland

No salesmen come down this driveway anymore,” said Organic Valley dairy farmer Ron Holter. “They know not to bother us. We haven’t bought seed in twenty years.” Ron is the 5th generation to farm on Holterholm Farms located in Jefferson, MD, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Frederick County, Maryland. He and his son, Adam, farm together full-time. The farm was certified organic in 2005. Drive 13 miles to the southwest...

Read More

2018 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

Tools are used by farmers every day to make their farms work. 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. 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, will present The Crisis in the Organic Dairy Movement: History, Analysis, and What Farmers Can Do to Balance the Playing Field. Read more for all the details.

NODPA is offering an early-bird rate for those who register by Wednesday, September 19th. You can pay in advance or on-site but you MUST sign up by phone, email or mail to receive the lower rate.
Contact: 413-772-0444,
NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342

Vermont Organic Dairy Farm
Profitability 2016

By Jon Walsh, MS Candidate, University of Vermont, Department of Community Development and Applied Economics

2018 marked a sad year for the Vermont agricultural community with the passing of Extension Economist Bob Parsons. As part of his legacy UVM, along with NOFA VT, is working to continue with the ongoing organic dairy profitability study. This article provides a summary of the 2016 data collected by Bob and the rest of the study team.

Read the whole article here.

Added June 20, 2018

Democracy Worked:
USDA Terminates the Organic Checkoff Proposal, Citing "Lack of Support"

On May 15th, the USDA announced that it was terminating the “rulemaking proceeding that proposed to establish a national research and promotion program for certified organic products under authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act).” The Organic Trade Association proposal for an organic check off was denied by the USDA because there was “uncertain industry support for and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.” In plain English, the USDA agreed with the 1,895 organic producers, businesses and consumers that signed a petition against the organic checkoff, created by the No Organic Checkoff Coalition, representing 31 organizations and more than 6,000 organic farmers from the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States, and the comments that unequivocally said the checkoff would never work. For once, the process worked and a grassroots movement of producers made their voice heard over a barrage of promotion of the proposal financed by hundreds of thousands of industry dollars.

checkoff ended

2018 NODPA Field Days
September 27 and 28, 2018

Mennonite Church
2142 Rohrersville Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758

The 18th Annual NODPA Field Days comes at a time when organic dairy farmers are struggling, so this year’s educational program takes on these realities by offering practical, low-cost or no-cost solutions that can help our farms emerge intact from the current industry crisis while remaining true to the integrity of the organic seal. Some of the informational workshops we are developing will provide farmers with the tools to assess their operations in order to maximize net income; rethink management practices to increase efficiency; and even lay out all the options available to farm families as they consider their future within the current realities of the organic dairy industry. We also tackle the very important issues facing the organic dairy industry: preserving the integrity of the organic seal; understanding all of the Organic Plus Labels/Add-on Certification Programs that are emerging; and staying informed about the happenings at the USDA and this year’s Farm Bill. Our keynote speaker, Mark Kastel will give a very timely presentation on the crisis in organic dairy. 

2018 Field Days

Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed Prices:
May 2018

Total retail sales of organic milk for the first quarter of 2018, 654 million pounds, was one percent lower than sales in 2017, 662 million pounds, but sales of organic whole milk were up 6% on sales for the first quarter in 2017. Federal Milk Market Order 1 in New England again reported an increase in the utilization of types of organic milk by pooled plants.

feed and grain prices

What’s Wrong with Organic Certification, and What Should Be Done About It?

By Adam Diamond

In the March issue of NODPA News, Arden Landis briefly comments on a major structural flaw in the entire organic certification regime, the apparent conflict of interest between certifiers and businesses seeking organic certification. This article elaborates on the nature of this problem, its consequences, and possible solutions. Landis reflects on his experience working as an independent certifier for four certifying agencies. He feels that these agencies are working hard to conduct certifications in accordance with the National Organic Standards.  However, “if I see one real problem in the whole process, it is that the agencies make their money off the farms they certify….If a certifier is too tough, farmers find out and they will move from one agency to another. I don’t know how you’re going to get around this.”

certification problems

Added March 27, 2018

Organic Certification, from the
Inspector’s Perspective:
An Interview with Arden Landis

What are your thoughts on the certification process, especially from an inspector’s point of view?

“One of the things I have observed is that agencies make their money by the farmers paying them to certify them. If farmers find one agency provides better services than another that is where they go. Some agencies are very efficient at determining if specific products are allowed in organic production. Some have more tedious paper work.
 If I see one real problem in the whole process, it is that the agencies make their money off the farmers they certify. They don’t want to lose farmers. If a certifier is too tough, farmers find out and they will move from one agency to another. I don’t know how you’re going to get around this. It is just the reality of the situation.”

For the full article please go to:


Anatomy of a Wet Year:
Insights from New York Farmers

Key Findings

  • The 2017 heavy rainfalls and flooding impacted farms across New York State.
  • Crops grown on clayey soils suffered an estimated 53% loss in crop yield and crops grown on gravelly, sandy or siltier soils suffered estimated crop yield losses of 25% or less.
  • In addition to yield losses, 95% of farmers said the quality of their crop was negatively impacted.
  • 30% of farmers said they would have increased their drainage infrastructure, including adding tiling and drainage ditches, if they had known how wet 2017 would be.

A wet spring, followed by higher than average precipitation and heavy rainfall events (e.g. the heaviest 1% of all daily rainfall events) during the 2017 growing season (NRCC) led to saturated soils and flooding on many farms throughout New York State (NY). The frequency of heavy rainfall events have already increased by 71% in NY over the last half century (NCA 2014), and this trend is predicted to continue in the future (Wuebbles et al. 2014). Given this, and to get a sense of how farmers were affected by these conditions, as well as how they coped, we surveyed farmers across NY State throughout September of 2017.

For the full article by Shannan Sweet, David Wolfe, and Rebecca Benner please go to:


Paul and Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Farm, Preble, NY

The NODPA listening Project:
Collecting the Voices of Organic Dairy

During the Annual NODPA Field Days last September, some producers felt that we needed a more direct approach to tell our story to consumers using social media.  So it was exciting to witness the creation of the NODPA Community Connection Committee, made up of NODPA members Liz Pickard, Annie Murray, and Sonja Heyck-Merlin. They have launched NODPA’s Listening Project where they will be capturing “Voices of Organic Dairy” on video and audio recordings.  These will be shared with the public through both NODPA’s and NOFA-NY’s Facebook pages, newsletters, and other social media platforms.  

The first recordings were made on March 6 at NOFA-NY’s Dairy and Field Crop Conference in Liverpool, NY.  Farmers were recorded in brief 3-minute clips, giving consumers an insight into our lives as organic dairy farmers. Read more about this project and some sampling of the quotes, please go to:


Organic Milk Pay, Retail and Feed Prices

Sales of organic dairy fluid products in 2017 were flat compared to 2016. The average increase in sales in previous years had settled around 4% growth. However, total organic whole milk fluid sales for December 2017, 89 million pounds, were up 5.6 percent compared with December 2016, and up 6.2% annually compared with 2016. Unfortunately, total organic fluid sales for December 2017 were lower than December 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for January 2018, 96 million pounds, were up 11.0 percent compared with January last year. Total organic milk products sales for January 2018, 234   million pounds, were up 2.3 percent compared with January 2017.

Producers report that base pay price in the Northeast is at $25 per hundredweight, and $21 in the West. Average farmgate pay price in the Northeast is $29.50 but will drop in the next few months with the spring deductions, even though the forecasted volumes are low for the ‘Spring Flush’. This compares to $36 per hundredweight in 2017. Upstate Niagara stands out as honoring its commitments to producers maintaining a pay price at around $35. The surplus of organic milk is now being more accurately described as a surplus of skim milk with a good demand for fat. Despite this surplus, the amount of organic product advertising in 2017 and 2018 has dropped extensively, and retail prices have increased in the last few months. This increase in retail price has resulted in a drop in producers’ share of the retail dollar down to 32%, the lowest since 2007.  

There are reports that CROPP will increase its payments for protein and fat this Fall to more accurately reflect market demand plus there are discussions of a cost-plus payments system for organic milk. Whose costs and how that is calculated is not yet known but it would fit in ideally to a form of margin insurance that is available to conventional producers but not to organic operations.

This data reflects the economic reality facing organic dairy producers across the country, with lower pay prices and producers losing their contracts. Reports from the Midwest are that smaller cooperatives and groups are losing their contracts to lower bids, especially for manufacturing milk, as competition increases and inventory of organic cheese grows. Some Midwest organic milk is being replaced by milk trucked from mega-dairies in Texas at prices that are lower than local organic milk despite trucking costs of up to   $5.00 per hundredweight. Processors with direct contracts with producers, for example Sorrento Lactalis, are reportedly dropping producers and seeking cheaper contracts. For the full report please go to:

Pay Price March 2018

SAVE THE DATE for the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days

The NODPA Board and State Representatives have announced that the 18th Annual NODPA Field Days will be held in Maryland for the first time. The 2-day NODPA Field Days will be held on September 27th and 28th in the Fredrick, Maryland area, although the specific location has not yet been identified. We are in the early stage of planning but are hoping to have two farm tours, and to learn much more about the opportunities and challenges of farming in the Mid-Atlantic region. Please stay tuned, there will be much more information in the May NODPA News.  


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