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NODPA Needs YOU

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 >

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, consider our high-value business membership.

If you're an interested consumer or educator, look into our associate membership.

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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.

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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 2017

Added November 20, 2017.

Estimated sales of total conventional fluid milk products decreased 8 percent from August 2016 whereas estimated sales of total organic fluid milk products decreased slightly by only 0.2 percent from a year earlier.

USDA AMS reports total organic milk products sales for September 2017 were 208 million pounds, down 4.2 percent from the previous September but up 0.2 percent, January-September 2017 compared with the same period of 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for September 2017, 83 million pounds, were up 0.4 percent compared with September last year and up 6.5 percent, January-September 2017 compared with the same period of 2016. Learn more:

Pay Price November

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 >

Employment

CERTIFICATION SPECIALIST
NOFA-NY Certified Organic is hiring a Full-time Certification Specialist to start in January or February 2018.  Added December 5, 2017.

Training provided along with the ability for a flexible work location at home or at NOFA-NY Binghamton, NY office.  A candidate who can regularly visit the Binghamton, NY office is preferred, though flexibility in location is possible. 

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 1000 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas.

Primary responsibilities include evaluating organic plan information and inputs to determine compliance with the National Organic Standards, and communication with clients about certification requirements. We require excellent communication skills, verbal and written; strong computer skills; and the ability to do detail-oriented work in a fast paced environment.

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.

This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position with benefits. Benefits include healthcare, dental and 403(b) as well as generous paid holidays/vacation time.  Salary is competitive.
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. This position will take approximately one year to master - serious applicants only. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to: Lori@nofany.org

Detailed posting at https://www.nofany.org/about-us/opportunities

NOFA-NY is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Real Estate

GRAZING DAIRY FARM FOR SALE

Currently operating dairy farm for sale in Truxton, NY. 340 acres, 230 tillable mostly in fenced pasture. Very nice valley ground, pastures likely eligible for immediate organic certification.

Double 7 parlor in 138 stall dairy barn, additional 30 stalls for dry cows, and bedded pack for pre-fresh cows. Heifer barn with 102 stalls. Young heifer barn with bedded pack for 70-80 youngstock. 40 Calf hutches, 4-bay commodity shed, and bunk silos. Barns built within last 10 years. Large farmhouse on property as well.

We’re listing this for a neighbor so please contact us at hiddenmeadowsdairy@gmail.com and we can put you in contact with the owner.

Added November 3, 2017
Name: Ryan and Annie Murray
Email: hiddenmeadowsdairy@gmail.com
Location: Truxton, NY

Animals

10 Springing Holstein Heifers, all 7+ months, $2,000/hd
801-430-2738. Added November 20, 2017.
Name: Eric Evans
Email: eecowman@yahoo.com
Phone: 801-430-2738
Location: Lancaster Cty. PA

For sale: 2 year old Simmenpal-Holstein cross bull raised from certified organic herd. Pasture raised, friendly. $1100.00. Added October 11, 2017.
Name: Phillip Cutting
Email: neros75@comcast.net
Phone: 802-254-6982
Location: Guilford, Vermont

Organic dairy cows: holsteins, jerseys, and crosses. need to reduce herd size. You pick out of 120 head.  Asking $2000. Added September 1, 2017.
Name: doug murphy
Email: dsm1@sbcglobal.net
Phone: 216-401-1052
Location: Sherman NY

Forage and Grains

For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic 2017 and 2016 Field Crops.  Timothy DRY HAY - 4 x 4 1/2 Round bales, stored inside and outside.  BALEAGE - 4 x 4 Round bales (Clover, Alfalfa, Orchard grass, Oatlage, Timothy).  Also BEDDING HAY- 4 x 4 1/2 Round bales, stored outside.  Contact Jeff @
607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com.  Mitchell Farm -  Avoca, NY (Steuben County) Added December 8, 2017.

For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic 2017 and 2016 Field Crops.  Timothy DRY HAY - 4 x 4 1/2 Round bales, stored inside and outside.  BALEAGE - 4 x 4 Round bales (Clover, Alfalfa, Orchard grass, Oatlage, Timothy).  Also BEDDING HAY- 4 x 4 1/2 Round bales, stored outside.  Contact Jeff @ 607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com
Mitchell Farm, Avoca, NY (Steuben County) Added November 20, 2017.

Certified organic dairy quality 4x4 round bales.  All inline wrapped. 1st, 2nd and 3rd cutting available.  Clover, timothy, mixed grasses.  Dairy One tested results available upon request.  Delivery can also be arranged. Added November 6, 2017.
Name: Paul Hargett
Email: barnbabeboutique@gmail.com
Phone: 315 246 2998
Location: Locke NY

3x4 Feed Quality Wheat Straw. Delivered by truckload. Volume discounts available. Red River Forage. Call/text 1-204-712-6509. Added November 2, 2017.
Name: Caleb Siemens
Email: siemenscaleb@gmail.com
Phone: 1-204-712-6509
Location: Springfield MA

Organic Hay for sale: first and second cutting square bales, $4.50, you pick up. Large round bales also available, 45.00. Added October 11, 2017.
Name: Phillip Cutting
Email: neros75@comcast.net
Phone: 802-254-6982
Location: Guilford, Vermont

Events

For additional information on the events below, click here.

Dec 4, 2017, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Farmland Access Conference
Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME

Dec 13, 2017, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Are You Managing Your Risks as a Farm Employer?
The Compliance & Safety Workshop
Whallonsberg Grange, 1610 NY-22, Essex, NY

January 13, 2018
Cover. Diversify. Regenerate, the 31st Annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
Worcester State University, Worcester, MA

January 19-21, 2018
Healthy People, Healthy Planet, NOFA-NY
36th Annual Winter Conference
Saratoga Hilton & City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Thursday and Friday, January 25 & 26, 2018
2018 Northeast Pasture Consortium
The Century House, 997 New London Road, Latham, NY (Albany County)

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Tenth Annual Winter Green-Up 2018 Winter Green-Up Conference
The Century House, 997 New London Road, Latham NY (Albany County)

 


Annie & Ryan Murray

Hidden Meadows Dairy
Cincinnatus, New York

Added November 20, 2017. Annie and Ryan met at the 2015 NODPA Field Days and were recently married!  Ryan (25) grew up on an 80-cow dairy, five miles outside of Truxton, New York. His parents went organic in 2007 in what was Ryan’s first year of high school. Post-high school, Ryan attended two semesters of college, but decided he’d rather find a way to milk his own cows.
In 2013, Ryan rented an 80-stall stanchion barn from a family friend. “When I got started, I only had a few cows at my parent’s farm,” Ryan said. “I started out by buying about 40 conventional unbred heifers,” which he began to transition to organic production in 2012.  “The barn is small and antiquated but it works,” Ryan said.

Annie (21) grew up in Silicon Valley; her dad employed at Google and her mother at the University of Berkeley. She and her mother moved to New York when she was 16, and Annie joked that she had “almost never seen a cow before the move.” “My mother met a dairy farmer down the road and encouraged me to visit the farm. I began milking with him one night a week,” said Annie, explaining the roots of her farming career. For more about the featured farm presented in a different format using a SWOT analysis, please go to:

Hidden Meadows Dairy

It’s November: Time for the
Annual NODPA Fund Drive

Has your NODPA Fund Drive letter arrived? When it does, we hope you will consider all the ways NODPA works for Organic Dairy farm families and those who support the industry, and send in your annual contribution. If you already support NODPA through the monthly Milk Check Assignment or during NODPA’s Field Days, we say thanks! For more information and to give, please go to:

Learn More >


Added November 20, 2017

Policy – What You as a Producer Can Do

The organic dairy community is a confusing place, especially when we talk about policy and regulation.  For some, the veracity of the organic certification is a matter of whether the certifying entity decides that the operation meets the USDA regulations as the certifier interprets it. For others, the vast majority of organic producers, the organic certification must past the test of basic organic practices (grown in soil) and the reality of farming practices.

Below is an extract from ODairy list serve that illustrates the differences in opinion:

Bruce A. Scholten (BAS) interview with Miles McEvoy (MM) at the 19th organic world congress of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements conference in India:

BAS:For years, I agonized over whether or not Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD in Colorado and Texas) properly grazed their cows. I worry less about Horizon Organic Dairy these days.’
MM:They met the USDA standards.’
BAS:So what about Peter Whoriskey’s articles in WaPo?’
MM:Peter Whoriskey’s articles were based on a drive-by investigation. It wasn’t an audit. His articles are sensationalist.’
BAS:He was in Texas 8 days,’ and didn’t see over 10% of that 10,0000 cow plus herd on pasture.
MM:He was outside 8 days. It wasn’t an audit. Whoriskey’s not a dairy farmer.’

George Siemon, CEO CROPP Cooperative:As far as Aurora goes I have not defended them, but I have strongly defended the NOP verification which is the whole currency of the organic market. Yes, it has flaws, and we all work to keep it improving, but it is our cornerstone. My understanding is Aurora was certified by two different certifiers and had a complete audit by the NOP. Considering that, I believe we need to all defend the organic seal process rather than supporting news headlines that implicate organic dairy as not real. This is not good for the market or for family farms.”

Francis Thicke, NOSB member and organic dairy producer: “I was the one who asked the head of NOP Compliance if they inspected Aurora unannounced, or if they made an appointment. The head of NOP Compliance told me that they made an appointment "because of (NOP) budget constraints." Apparently, the NOP was not so concerned about the budget constraints of the family-scale organic dairy farmers who are fulfilling the grazing rule but are taking a big economic hit because of organic milk surpluses, caused in part by "organic" CAFO dairies.  I agree with Kathie (Arnold) that any grazing organic dairy farmer with a bit of common sense has to be suspicious--and disgusted--that the compelling evidence presented by the Washington Post investigative reporter was brushed aside based on a pre-scheduled audit of Aurora's records. Anyone who believes that Aurora would present records showing noncompliance with the grazing rule during a scheduled appointment with an auditor--regardless of whether or not the records were accurate--is a fool.”

To achieve change that will align with our beliefs as producers we need to influence policy makers in DC. With a new administration in Washington DC and the need for consistent implementation of organic regulation to ensure a fair and level playing field, organic producers need to educate policy makers on the conditions of the organic dairy market. While the policy and regulation issues within the organic dairy community are foremost in our minds, they are of limited interest to most Congressional senators and representatives. Policymakers receive many requests for support for a variety of programs and they respond to constituent requests which have a clear statement of a situation, its implications for their constituents and a way they can help.

To help with that education we provide a summary of the situation in organic dairy plus some talking points on what can be done on the Federal level. NODPA, NOFA NY, MOFGA and other organic organizations will be supplying these talking points directly to their Northeast congressional delegation. Producers can do the same -please go to:

What Producers Can Do

MYCOTOXIN ALERT 2017 –
Letter to the Editor

Dear NODPA News Editor:

It is important that clarification be made about the information published recently, both on the Odairy listserv and in the September NODPA News, that stated aflatoxins, particularly gliotoxin, interfere with the Charm tests (Charm Sciences manufactures rapid diagnostic tests across many industries) for antibiotics in milk, specifically tests for sulfonamide drugs. This information is not accurate.
When the situation referenced in that article was unfolding, I contacted the technical services folks at Charm Sciences to discuss more fully the potential for cross-reaction to their sulfonamide assays, the Charm ROSA SULF test primarily used in milk processing plants and the Charm II SULFA test primarily used for confirmation testing in certified laboratories . . .

To read the whole letter please go to:

Letter to the Editor

Closing comments of Francis Thicke at end of his NOSB term. November 2, 2017

“There are two important things that I have learned during my five years on the NOSB. First, I learned that the NOSB review process for materials petitioned for inclusion on the National List is quite rigorous, with Technical Reviews of petitioned materials and careful scrutiny by both NOSB subcommittees and the full board.

The second thing I learned, over time, is that industry has an outsized and growing influence on USDA—and on the NOSB (including through NOSB appointments)—compared to the influence of organic farmers, who started this organic farming movement. Perhaps that is not surprising, given the growing value of organic sales. As organic is becoming a $50 billion business, the industry not only wants a bigger piece of the pie, they seem to want the whole pie.”

To read all of Francis’s comments please go to:

Francis Thicke Comments

Dirt Capital: Promoting Land
Access and Security

Dirt Capital Partners invests in farmland in partnership with farmers throughout the Northeast United States, promoting sustainable farmers’ land access and security. They recognize that farming is risky. Many talented farmers with profitable operations do not qualify for a conventional loan and/or do not have enough capital saved to make a large down payment. The primary alternative is leased land, which is often short-term, insecure and requires permission from landowners to erect basic farm infrastructure. Dirt Capital fills these gaps by facilitating farmland transitions, crafting long-term leases that allow businesses to expand securely, and providing defined pathways to ownership. Dirt Capital worked with Annie and Ryan Murray to obtain their farm. To read more about Dirt Capita common land scenario, approach, legal agreements, partner criteria and a case study, please go to:

Dirt Capital

2017 NODPA Field Days:
Embracing Change in Organic Dairy: Truxton, New York

The Northeast was hit by a serious heat wave leading up to the 17th annual meeting and Field Days with temperatures well into the 90’s. Fortunately, by the first day, the heat had receded, and the skies were gray. The two-day event included two farm tours, engaging speakers, and delicious farm-to-table fare. It was once again an educational, fun, and enriching time for organic dairy farmers to come together, share ideas, swap stories, address the current challenges of the organic dairy industry and develop concrete action plans for the future. To read the full article by Sonja Heyck-Merlin and Liz Pickard please go to:

Field Days Summary

To see a photo display of the 2017 NODPA Field Days please go to the Field Days gallery in Field Day by clicking here.

Pay and Feed
Price Update

Estimated sales of total conventional fluid milk products decreased 8 percent from August 2016 whereas estimated sales of total organic fluid milk products decreased slightly by only 0.2 percent from a year earlier.

USDA AMS reports total organic milk products sales for September 2017 were 208 million pounds, down 4.2 percent from the previous September but up 0.2 percent, January-September 2017 compared with the same period of 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for September 2017, 83 million pounds, were up 0.4 percent compared with September last year and up 6.5 percent, January-September 2017 compared with the same period of 2016.

Results of the 2016 NASS Certified Organic Survey were recently released. Comparing 2016 results with results from 2008 and 2014, the general trend is that organic dairy farms are producing more organic milk, and average dollar sales by farms have increased. Looking at each of the top 15 states, the number of organic dairy farms from 2014 to 2016 has increased except Minnesota, New Mexico and Iowa, each of which has declined. Comparing 2008 and 2016, there were declines in organic dairy farm numbers in 7 of the top 15 states:  Wisconsin, Texas, Oregon, Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Iowa. However, in each of those states the average organic milk sales per farm increased from 2008 to 2016.  Several states had no data on the number of cows, volume of milk or dollar sales including New Mexico and Colorado. New York has the largest number of organic dairy farms, 486, closely followed by Wisconsin with 455. Wisconsin had led the survey in farm numbers in 2008 and 2014. California has the highest organic milk sales (volumes and dollars) of any state with 106 farms averaging 473 milking cows per farm at an average pay price of $34.90 per hundred pounds. For more on the Feed and Pay price please go to:

Pay Price Nov 2017


Added September 18, 2017

Organics under Attack

The integrity of the USDA Organic program is currently in a precarious position. It is under attack from Congress, the NOP, and from organic advocates. The organic dairy pay price, and subsequently family farm income, is collapsing under the strain of a surplus brought on by poor supply management by milk buyers, poor implementation of existing regulation by the NOP and certifiers, and the failure of the NOP to pass regulations to uphold the integrity of the organic standards. The unique process of organic certification that has held consumer confidence and allowed organic products to stand out in the marketplace is also under attack and the results could well be more long-term and devastating than a drop in pay price.

The threats come from three distinct areas: the 2018 Farm Bill; from the bureaucratic inertia at the NOP; and by single-issue organic advocates who are looking to bypass the established process and change regulations through Congressional action. This article will explore how and why these areas of threat are so important because the defense of organic integrity and the changes to Federal regulations happen in many different ways and we all need to understand how an action in one area will affect a possible solution in another. To read the full article please go to:

Organics Under Attack

MYCOTOXIN ALERT 2017!

By Mary-Howell Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain

Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals produced by certain types of fungi that grow on plant material, both in the field or in storage. Mycotoxins are a common problem worldwide, indeed, it is estimated that globally, over 25% of field crops are affected annually with mycotoxins. In Europe, Napoleon’s defeat in Russia may not have been due as much to cold or military skill, but rather to mycotoxin-contaminated grain fed to horses and men.

At a recent meeting with other feed mill operators and regulators, mycotoxins are definitely on everyone’s mind, as a feed and food hazard that is increasing with changing weather patterns and especially with the amount of distillers’ grain from ethanol production that is fed on conventional dairies.  Mycotoxin levels can be significantly concentrated and increased in distillers’ grain.  Conventional dairy farmers are also concerned about all the corn for silage that was planted late and ‘mudded in’. To read the whole article please go to:

Mycotoxin Alert 2017

What is the Right Herd Size for Your Farm?

By Sarah Flack

What is the right number of cows for the farm?  And how would that change if the herd was 100% grass-fed with a milking parlor?  What if instead of going grass-fed, the herd continues to get some grain, and robots milked the cows?  What about just investing in a better grazing system and soil amendments to produce more high-quality pasture and forage on the current land base?  Is it better to buy the haying equipment or continue to have harvesting done by custom operators and buy some bales when needed? To find out some of the answers please go to:

Right Herd Size

An Interview with Neal Kinsey

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin

Neal Kinsey, internationally known expert on soil fertility management and the owner of Kinsey Agricultural Services, will be presenting at the 17th Annual NODPA Field Days on September 28 & 29, 2017 in Truxton, NY, and ahead of the NODPA Field Days, we wanted everyone to learn more about Neal via the following interview, which is based on questions submitted by a number of organic dairy farmers.

Please introduce yourself:
I was born on a farm in southeast Missouri in the same county where I currently live. I am the eldest of 12 children, and I spent my childhood with my grandfather while my father served in the military. Once my father came home he also started farming. I am married with two daughters. My business, Kinsey Agricultural Services, was launched as a part-time enterprise in 1973. By 1976, I had grown my business enough to pursue it full-time. What we do at Kinsey Ag. is advise in terms of soil fertility. We sell advice, not products.

To read the full interview please go to:

Neal Kinsey Interview

Pay and Feed
Price Update
September 2017

As pay price tumbles, losing between $3-10 per hundred pounds compared to 2016, fluid milk sales continue to grow as does the world-wide demand for organic milk powder. Organic exports are up this year on last, from $4 million to $16 million. Demand for organic fluid milk shows no signs of slowing down. The USDA AMS national data reports total organic milk products’ sales for June 2017 were 208 million pounds, down 1.7% from the previous June 2016. Overall, the January-June 2017 sales are up 0.8% over the previous January-June 2016. Total organic whole milk products’ sales for June 2017 were up 4% over June 2016. This resulted in 7.7% increase in sales of organic whole milk for the first half of 2017, over sales in the same period of 2016.

Organic Valley and Maple Hill Creamery, both of which have reduced pay price and stopped taking on transitioning producers, are launching a new Grass-Fed label, apparently after scrapping the work with the American Grassfed Association. The announcement was made in Washington DC and at Expo East in Maryland.  NOFA-NY and PCO are part of the collaboration since they both currently offer a proven and successful Organic Grass-Fed Certification Program.  This fall, more information will be released regarding the certification program and certifying-body accreditation allowing all accredited organic certifiers the opportunity to certify producers to this program. OV had a grassmilk call recently where ALL grassmilk producers were told that they will be required to certify to the “new” Grassfed organic standards, with the obligatory annual third party inspections by January 2018. There are many questions left unanswered and only a few months to complete the standards and ensure accountability. The cynical reader may see this as a way to decrease the Grassfed pool of milk which is currently losing money. For more on the Feed and Pay price please go to:

Pay Price September

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