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.
NODPA NEWS & NOTES
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 November 2015
Added January 27, 2016. Recent data published by the USDA-AMS show a continuing slight reduction in retail sales of organic non-fat fluid milk for October 2015, and a small increase in sales of full fat and 2% fluid milk. While retail fluid sales have declined, the retail price has increased and there are still shortages on supermarket shelves. The drop in sales can be attributed to a shortage of supply and milk being diverted to manufacturing as demand for the higher margin organic dairy non-fluid products is increasing.
For more details and charts of trends, 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.
Added in September, October and November, 2015
For full classifieds, click here.
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FOR SALE:MOSA CERTIFIED ORGANIC HOLSTEIN HEIFERS. THREE TO FRESHEN IN MAY.EIGHT TO FRESHEN IN JUNE&FOUR TO FRESHEN IN JULY AND FIRST OF AUGUST. ALL NICE LOOKING. ACCELERATED GENETICS EASY CALVING SIRES USED. GOOD RECORDS ON EACH THAT INCLUDE VACCINATIONS, SIRES, AND DUE DATES. WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD A CLOSED HERD. 715-879-5572
Added March 27, 2016.
Contact: Lloyd Scheffler
Location: Elk Mound Wi.
Montbeliard/Jersey cross bull calf and Montbeliard/Ayshire cross bull calf for sale 300.each
Montbeliard/Jersey yearling bull 800.
Norwegian Red/Jersey 16month bull 1000.
Added March 27, 2016.
Contact: Dan Finn
Phone: 607 746 8192
Location: Delhi, NY
We have some Jersey cows for sale Holstein Milk Bottle Calves and we are down sizing our herd a bit. Prices vary between cows call to let us know what your looking for and we will see if we have something that meets your needs. Just called us or text us on (443) 491-8197. Thanks and waiting on your response. Added March 25, 2016.
Phone: (443) 491-8197
Looking for 3 certified organic Jersey Bred Heifers, due in late spring/early summer.
Added March 22, 2016.
Contact: Nate Rogers
Jersey Service Bull. 2 years old, nice disposition. Stanchion trained, out daily. From an organic herd. $900 obo.
Added March 15, 2016.
Contact: Phil Cutting
Location: Guilford VT
Wanted: I am looking for 25-30 organic certified heifers or cows. Willing to pay a good price. Jerseys preferred but would take Holstein. Added February 28, 2016.
Contact: Jason Beachy
Location: Mt. Grove Mo.
19 Big Organic Certified by MOFGA Holstein heifers, due late April and May. Sired by and bred to top quality ET bulls for generations. Their dams are averaging 80 lbs per day for their new certified owner in NY $2,750 Caldwell Farm, Turner, Maine (207-754-3871).
Added February 15, 2016.
Wanted: 40 to 80 certified organic milk cows.
Added February 1, 2016.
Contact: Mike Compagna
Location: Middlebury, Vt
Wanted! Certified organic cows ( Holsteins and Jerseys) fresh or whole herds for import to Canada for different organic producers. Please contact Sebastien Dion at 1-519-320-0656. Locations: Canada, various locations. Added January 11, 2016.
Certified Organic Cows for sale. $2500.00 a piece you pick!
Added January 4, 2016.
Contact: Daniel Miller
Location: Darien Center, NY
For sale: 140 Certified Organic Cows, Jersey/Jersey Cross, $2700 each, 40 heifers
Added December 16, 2015.
Contact: Jeff Browning
Location: Curryville, MO
Seeking two certified organic Jersey cows, either currently milking or about to freshen, to add to established organic herd. Will need to see certification, health and quality records before purchase. Price negotiable. Added December 8, 2015.
Contact: David Bright
Location: Downeast Maine
KD Shavings live floor trailer loads ME, NH. Caldwell Farm, Turner, Maine (207-754-3871). Added February 15, 2016.
Selling off everything for roundbale switch. Have mint condition JD338 Baler 10k. 3
Hay wagons 8x18, $2,500-$3,500. JD-harv 3970 grass and corn head, good to go but used, include dump wagon for 10k. Athens 128 offset disk harrow barely used bought new for 16k sell for 8k. F800 automatic dump w/20ft steel body 6k. Would sell some things packaged together. Email email@example.com or call 978-957-0031.
Location: Dracut, MA. Added March 27, 2016.
For sale: Really efficient Swing Eight milking parlor Steel frame with adjustable breast bars, kick bars, butt pans and gates $2600. Parlor has already been dismantled . Also for an additional $1000 receiver jar and milk pump plus pipes. For another $500 eight delaval milk machines. Take it all for $3800 Vacuum Pump, pulsators, and Milk tank have already been sold. Added March 5, 2016.
Contact: Applecheek Farm - John Clark
PTO Driven Generator $2700. Excellent condition.
Contact: Applecheek Farm - John Clark
Location: Hyde Park, VT
Added March 4, 2016.
Forage & Grain
For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic CLOVER SEED and TIMOTHY SEED. Cleaned and bagged on farm. Heifer/Beef quality DRY HAY - 4 1/2 x 4 round bales stored outside. Also 4 1/2 x 4 round Bedding Hay - stored outside. Contact Jeff at Mitchell Farm (Avoca, NY - Steuben County) 607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@Hotmail.com. Added February 17, 2016.
MOFGA certified top quality corn and haylage. Silage tested by Dairy One, valued at University of Maine Extension by Dr. Gary Anderson. Caldwell Farm, Turner, Maine (207-754-3871). Added February 15, 2016.
For Sale Hay
50 4x4 wrapped round bales, certified organic. Some early June cut, some 2nd cutting. $45 each. Phil Cutting, 802-254-6982. Location: Guilford, VT
Added Feburary 8, 2016.
Organic wrapped June cut clover haylage $45.00 /bale
Added Feburary 1, 2016.
Name: Butterworks Farm
Phone: 802-744-6023, 802-323-9304
Location: Westfield, Vt.
300 Dairy Quality Certified Organic 4 x 5 baylage for sale
Tight, Net Wrapped. Processed and Forage Tests available
Can load as needed. $55.00 each Volume discounts
Call or text: 765-277-3352 or 315-749-8880
Added January 16, 2016.
Name: Farm at Cold Brook, Location: Poland NY
For Sale: 250+ 4x4 round bales, mostly grass mix; baleage, 1st & 2nd cut dry hay; NOFA-NY Certified firstname.lastname@example.org , 716-267-9272 (leave message) Kimvale Farm, Falconer, NY, 14733 (Chautauqua County) Added January 11, 2016.
For Sale: Certified organic shell corn, large quantities. Delivery available or pick up. Contact Bob Blackston, email: Bob.email@example.com or phone: 740 416 9105.
Added November 10, 2015.
NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC in Binghamton NY is Hiring
Be a part of a growing non-profit company, USDA-accredited organic certification agency, whose primary purpose is to provide high integrity organic certification to over 800 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas.
We are hiring for full-time (40 hours/week) position(s) that includes healthcare, dental and 403(b) as well as generous paid holidays/vacation time.
We offer a friendly work environment, challenging work, open communication, and commitment to a job well-done. For information regarding our organization, please visit www.nofany.org. Positions will take approximately one year to master so serious applicants only.
The ideal candidate will have a college degree in a related area, or equivalent by training or experience, and knowledge of organic farming and certification. We require excellent communication skills, verbal and written; strong computer skills; and the ability to do detail-oriented work in a fast paced environment. Training will be provided.
Certification Coordinator Assistant
Non-exempt, hourly position $12 - $14/hour depending on experience
Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to: Lori@nofany.org. Added April 16, 2016.
NOFA-NY is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.
Grass-fed Dairy Apprentice
Grey Barn & Farm, Chilmark, Massachusetts
Contact Michael at Michael@thegreybarnandfarm.com for more info.
Added March 31, 2016.
The Grey Barn and farm is an organic grass-fed dairy and creamery located on the island of Martha's Vineyard. We are also a multi-species operation that raises woodlot finished pigs, grass-fed beef and pastured laying hens. We are committed to a holistic approach of whole farm management that promotes the well being of the land and the animals that live on it. Healthy land and healthy animals produce our diverse offering of delicious products.
The Grey Barn and Farm is offering an opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to fill a full time apprentice role on our farm. The apprenticeship is for one year. There is a possibility for a permanent position for the right person. This person would assist the Farm Manager in all tasks including daily milking, livestock and poultry management and general farm maintenance.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Desired:
A strong work ethic
Work well with all types of people
Comfortable around large animals
$250.00 per week less taxes
Housing and utilities are provided
½ gallon of raw milk, 1 dozen eggs and $30 of other product per week.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine is accepting applications for its Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program.
This hands-on, residential program allows apprentices to learn all aspects of operation and management, preparing them to run their own organic dairy farm. Trainees are provided with export support in training, business planning, securing financing, locating land, and continued guidance through first few years of independent production.
The two-year program is a National Apprenticeship under the Department of Labor, in partnership with the Wisconsin-based Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship. Learn more at www.wolfesneckfarm.org/dairy. Added March 15, 2016.
Seeking: We are a dairy Herdsman family, seeking an Equity earning/share milking contract labor agreement. We have been Dairy Farming Most of my life off and on. Currently Herdsman on an organic dairy in New York. We can and will relocate. We are seeking a kind, friendly, family dairy, who would like to hire trustworthy hard working folks who are dedicated to Bovines. We are looking for mentors who have experience and a respected name in the community. We have a lot to offer the right family. Long term, Stable agreement. We are adults and expect to be treated fairly, we believe in profitable dairy principles which conducive too healthy cattle. Contact by phone or email.
Added March 11, 2016.
Contact: Owen Backus
Location: New York but willing to relocate
Looking to build a herd
My name is Nick Armato. I don't have a lot of experience but I'm looking to gain experience and be mentored in the Dairy Industry. But what I am mainly looking for is to build a Herd or equity in cattle to eventually move on to a farm of my own. I'm willing to work long hours 365 days a year. Please contact me at 802 779 1021 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Hubbardton, VT
Added March 2, 2016.
For additional information on the events below, click here.
April 6, 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Gaining Control of Parasite Issues in Grazing Systems
“Picture a four year old girl and her 6 year old brother--back in the days before IPad, cell phones, video games, and even TV in most homes. Farm life activities were riding tricycles in the driveway, playing with our nearby cousins, going fishing in the river, building forts from the piles of fence posts, and wishing there were trees on our lawn so we could play in the leaves. Luckily, our grandparents lived on the other side of the road and they did have nice, big trees with lots of leaves. So my brother and I talked with our grandfather and he made us a deal—if we raked and bagged up the leaves, we could take them over to our lawn—and we only had to pay him 5 cents a bag of leaves for that privilege. That was my first lesson in economics and business.” To read more of Kathie Arnold’s 2016 “Farmer of the Year” presentation adapted for a NODPA News article please go to:
Added March 29, 2016
As of March 1, 2016, all organic operations can exempt themselves from paying into conventional check-offs. To read more about the process please go to:
To download the form for organic dairy producers to use, please go to:
For exemption forms for other commodities please go to: https://www.ams.usda.gov/resources/rp-organic-exemption
For those that have not yet claimed their money back, don’t delay – it’s not often that as a small business you get tax money back!
The USDA AMS is reported to be moving through the process of examining all the issues raised by the partial proposals submitted to counteract the OTA’s full proposal on an organic check-off. There is no timeline for when they might publish a full proposal on the Federal Register, which will be available for comment. If you do not want an organic check-off, register your opinion with USDA AMS employees whenever you can because the USDA is under the false impression that farmers are in favor of a federally mandated organic check-off tax. To keep updated with all that is happening and to sign the petition against the check-off, please go to www.noorganiccheckoff.com.
Opposed to OTA’s proposed organic check off? If you are going to a meeting or conference this spring, download these handouts (EMBEDED LINK) and continue the education process, plus encourage folks to go to www.noorganiccheckoff.com
“Stuyvesant, NY, February 17, 2016 -- Grass-fed products were recently identified as a top 10 food trend in 2016 by retailer Whole Foods Market.” Maple Hill Creamery announced it has entered into a milk supply agreement with Danone-Stonyfield which is introducing a fruit on the bottom style yogurt using Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) organically certified grass fed milk. It’s no wonder that when the demand for grass-fed milk and meats expanded dramatically, the organic community did not turn to the USDA or any federal program to verify or certify the claim. The initiative taken by Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) and NOFA New York Certified Organic LLC, to work with producers and the industry, to have the only independent standards for grass-fed organic certification is one answer that does ensure that grass-fed has organic as its basic production method. Trying to get any additional certification through the NOP is not commercially viable because the time it takes is unacceptable to the market. It makes commercial sense for these two certifiers to launch this certification, and it has been taken up by at least one processor as the standards they require from producers in order to supply their brand. The positive aspect is that certifiers have moved this process forward under some control that can protect the producer from exploitation and the consumer from deceptive claims. The problem is that the standards themselves are not specific, not easily enforced, and attract a price premium that can be undermined by a large influx of milk that lacks the integrity expected by those who drafted the standards and the consumer. There is no one definition of ‘Grassfed’, similarly there is no definition of ‘Natural’. To read about the Maple Hill Creamery initiatives, please go to:
By Cynthia Lankenau, DVM, CVA
“Our present day dairy cow is one of the hardest working animals, using incredible amounts of energy to produce their vast quantities of milk. Often, her ability to maintain herself with this huge demand fails and she is in need of help. Acupuncture can help. Acupuncture is a very old system of balancing the flow of energy in our body and nourishing the ability to maximize our existing energy.” To read Dr. Lankenau’s entire article, complete with graphic diagrams, please go to:
By Bradley J. Heins, DVM, Assistant Professor, Organic Dairy Management West Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Morris, MN
At the GrassWorks Grazing Conference in January, 2016, Bradley Heins moderated an industry panel on dairy breeds to consider for grass-based production. He agreed to write an article to provide an update on the breeding plans and some preliminary results from the University of Minnesota organic dairy herd in Morris, MN. To read the full article please go to:
Data published by the USDA AMS continues to show slight reduction in retail sales of organic non-fat fluid milk for November and December, 2015, and a small increase in sales of full fat and 2% fluid milk compared to 2014. The only Federal Milk Marketing Order to publish data on organic utilization is Order 1 (Northeast) and their data show that utilization of organic whole milk had increased by 20% to 13,659,363 lbs. in December, 2015 compared to 11,306,595 lbs. in December, 2014. Non-fat and Reduced Fat organic milk utilization only increased marginally by less than 1%. There is no tracking of the increasing sales of grass-fed milk, and now certified organic grass-fed milk, both retail and manufacturing. With Danone (Stonyfield brand) moving away from purchasing all of its supply from CROPP, it is expanding its direct purchasing of organic to include organic grass-fed, there is increasing competition for a limited pool of milk. Maple Hill Creamery, selling to Danone should assist with their balancing and allow them to continue their active solicitation of producers who can meet their standards. Producers are exercising their right to move their supply to other companies with the increase in competition across the Midwest and the Northeast. Those looking for an easier entry into a value added market are looking at the grass-fed market demand, whether it is an entry to organic or not. With the price of conventional milk projected to stay low because of the decrease in exports and without any grant based federal safety net, many small to mid-size dairy operations are looking at different options to stay in business. For more on pay and feed price, please go to:
NODPA is AGAINST ANY ORGANIC CHECK-OFF and will continue to organize against it, but OTA has purchased the right to submit a proposal so we need to ensure any process is democratic. USDA AMS has questioned the support for OTA’s proposal so please register your opposition to a check-off (if you haven’t already done so) by going to www.noorganiccheckoff.com or write directly to Ed Maltby, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.
Added January 27, 2016Organic Exemption from Check-offs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced at the end of 2015 that they will extend the organic farmer exemption from conventional commodity checkoffs to ALL organic farmers, effective February 29, 2016. Organic farmers are no longer required to pay into conventional checkoff promotion programs that promote conventional products directly competing with their organic products. This is a big win for the organic sector—checkoff programs are not a good match for independent organic farmers. Those farms that are already exempt from paying into their conventional check-offs do not have to re-apply as their exemption will continue. Those that have previously not applied for exemption will need to fill out a revised form AMS-15 (not yet available); submit that form to the commodity check-off they are currently paying into; wait up to thirty days for the check-off Board to approve the exemption or ask more questions; then work with their buyers to ensure that the check-off money is not taken out, or submit a request for reimbursement to the checkoff Board. This process has to be repeated annually. The big winners here will be the milk processing companies (including those large, vertically integrated dairies) that are currently paying into the fluid milk assessment of 20 cents per hundred pounds for Class 1 milk – they will save over $4.5 million per year in payments. For more information please go to:Check-off’s are not inevitable
For those of you that assume once the OTA submitted their proposal for a check-off that it is inevitable, look at the experience of the Hardwood Checkoff:
The United States Department of Agriculture terminated the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order program proposal, commonly called the Hardwood Checkoff, on Oct. 28, 2015.
The Hardwood Checkoff would have assessed wood mills of certain sizes in order to fund promotions for the hardwood industry, similar to the “Got Milk?” and “The Other White Meat” campaigns for the milk and pork industries.
The USDA terminated the proposal because of critical public comments, lingering and substantive questions and significant proposed modifications from key stakeholders.
For more information please go to:
-for-flooring-industry.html and look at the opponents website: http://www.nohardwoodcheckoff.com/.
Opposed to OTA’s proposed organic check off? If you are going to a meeting or conference this winter, download these handouts (EMBEDED LINK) and continue the education process, plus encourage folks to go to www.noorganiccheckoff.comProfitability of Organic Farms
Bob Parsons of UVM Extension concludes his excellent article on the results of his survey of organic farms now in its tenth year with the following: “In conclusion, organic farms are getting by. Organic production 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? While the coming years likely will not see an immediate loss of organic dairy farms, there should be concern for long term viability and a 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.” For the full article please go to:Recent ODairy Discussions:
Over the New Year some of you may have had trouble with receiving ODairy post because of changes initiated by some of the internet companies. Our technical team of Chris Hill and Jeremy Eastburn worked on it with our web provider and, I think, has solved the problem. If you are still not getting the Odairy posts then try the Spam folder of your web server and computer. If none of those works, then please contact us. Apologies for any inconvenience. Join the active and informative email list serve by going to:
To follow the thread of past discussions, visit Odairy’s archives on NODPA’s website at nodpa.com
‘Baby, its Cold Outside’:
This timely article by Juan P. Alvez, Pasture Technical Coordinator, Center for Sustainable Agriculture – UVM Extension, gives some important tips on how to keep livestock productive and healthy when we have extremes of weather. For the complete article please go to:Feed & Pay Prices
Recent data published by the USDA-AMS show a continuing slight reduction in retail sales of organic non-fat fluid milk for October 2015, and a small increase in sales of full fat and 2% fluid milk. While retail fluid sales have declined, the retail price has increased and there are still shortages on supermarket shelves. The drop in sales can be attributed to a shortage of supply and milk being diverted to manufacturing as demand for the higher margin organic dairy non-fluid products is increasing. Manufacturers and retailers are continuing to look at imports as a more steady supply of both finished organic product (cheese); bulk product to be packaged within the US and organic powder because pricing and supply are preferable to buying domestic. Producers are continuing to use the end of their contract and cooperative agreements to move to other buyers, especially more regional buyers in the northeast. Conventional producers are examining their ability to transition to organic production, especially with the lower conventional price in 2015, which has resulted in enquiries to NODPA from Farm Credit about the state of the organic dairy market, as there is no independent data at the USDA. The only Federal Milk Marketing Order to publish data on organic utilization is Order 1 (Northeast) and their data show that utilization of organic whole milk had increased by 25% to 13,068,122 lbs. in November 2015 compared to 10,452,276 lbs. in November 2014. Non-fat and Reduced Fat organic milk utilization only increased marginally by less than 1%. Those transitioning to organic and their advisors should always be aware of the learning curve on livestock husbandry skills and practices and also pay close attention to restrictions imposed by their land base, plus the increased cost of organic dairy production as clearly expressed by Bob Parsons’ ongoing study. For the complete article and charts please go to:
Help USDA AMS decide if there is support for an Organic Check-Off– register your opposition now
NODPA is AGAINST ANY ORGANIC CHECK-OFF and will continue to organize against it, but OTA has purchased the right to submit a proposal so we need to ensure any process is democratic. USDA AMS has questioned the support for OTA proposal so please register your opposition to a check-off (if you haven’t already done so) by going to noorganiccheckoff.com or write directly to Ed Maltby, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.Regional Round Up of Producers,
Aaron Bell –Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine – Horizon – 45 cows in milk. Other than dreaming of a vacuum drone under the Christmas tree that would put strewn feed back in Tide Mill Farm’s feed bunks, Aaron Bell reports that his farm is in better straights than this time last year.
Kirk Arnold – Truxton, New York – Organic Valley- 125 cows in milk
Kirk said he is feeling relatively positive about the farm’s economy as they close in on 2015. They have enjoyed the higher milk prices of the past few years. It has allowed some overdue upgrades to both their equipment and barn.
Liz Bawden- Hammond, New York- Horizon- 55 cows in milk “Our farm is in a better situation than last year. Feed quality is much better, contributing to higher milk production.”
Jeep Madison- Shoreham, Vermont – Horizon- 60 cows in milk
Jeep said that things are better than they have been in quite a few years. They’re short on feed but usually plan on buying feed anyway.
George Wright – Wright Dairy, Hermon, New York – Upstate Niagara – 50 Cows in milk
“Here in northern NY we are experiencing above normal temperatures for the fall and looks like they will continue on into the winter.”
Roman Stoltzfoos- Spring Wood Organic Farm, Kinzers, Pennsylvania–Natural By Nature- 200 cows in milk. Roman reported that the economic situation on his farm is better than last year but feels that, realistically, the pay price is $5-10/cwt. lower than it should be.
Rick Segalla – Canaan, Connecticut – Organic Valley- 115 Cows in milk.
Rick reported he will change processors in March. He will be switching from Organic Valley to Calabro cheese. Calabro Cheese was the first company that bought his organic milk and he’s going back. The pay price is higher.
John Amey – Indian Stream Farm, Pittsburg, New Hampshire – Organic Valley – 43 Cows in milk. John reported that he’s been telling everybody that there’s never been a better time to be a farmer. He survived the Hood thing because of Organic Valley.
To read the complete article compiled by Sonja Heyck-Merlin, please click here.
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.
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