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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 November 2017

Added January 29, 2018.

The supply side of organic milk can be summed up by a quote from Stonyfield Farms in a letter sent to producers: “Unfortunately, at this time, Stonyfield (owned by Lactalis) remains committed to our existing producers, consumers and the New England dairy industry.  Stonyfield is not taking on any new dairy producers through 2018.”  None of the organic milk buyers are taking on new producers; all of them, with the exception of Upstate Niagara, are lowering the farmgate to the high $20’s and base price into the mid $20’s, and DanoneWave is sending 6 month notices of cancellation instead of renewing some contracts. Whole milk sales are expanding at a consistent 6.8% rate although non-fat milk has a drop of 1% in sales, making a 0.2% increase in total sales of organic milk January-October 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

For the full report please go to:

Pay Price January 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 >


For Sale:  Hesston BP25 Tub Grinder - Ready to Use $3950, Patz Model 98B Silo Unloader - Has been taken apart, no motor $500. Call Jeff, at 607-566-8477, Mitchell Organics,  Avoca, NY (Steuben County) Added February 14, 2018.

Farmtek Fodder Pro Commercial Feed Systems 113542. Barely used. Asking $6500 or best offer. Added February 19, 2018.
Name: Julie Davenson
Phone: 603-357-7278
Location: Keene, NH


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.
Added March 11, 2018.
Name: Butterworks Farm
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.
Added March 11, 2018.
Name: Doug Murphy
Phone: 7167613131
Location: Sherman NY


Added February 6, 2018. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is the oldest and largest organization in New York dedicated to organic and sustainable farming and gardening.

We are seeking a part time Organic Dairy and Livestock Coordinator to work with the Education Director and other staff to lead the organization’s outreach, technical assistance and programming to organic dairy and livestock farmers.  Estimated weekly hours are 20hrs/week.

The position requires a creative and organized self-starter with a background and/or experience in organic farming and grazing. The person must be passionate and knowledgeable about organic dairy and livestock and have project management experience. Responsibilities include providing technical assistance to organic farmers, organize workshops and field days, and respond to community inquiries. 

Click here for the full listing.

Herd manager wanted for 100% grassfed organic dairy farm. This 75 cow Vermont dairy is located in northern Chittenden county and southern Addison county. Previous experience with grazing management preferred. Housing could be provided. Pay will be based on experience.  (802) 238-8804 Added February 2, 2018.

Forage and Grains

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

Late 1st cut org hay. Small square or 5 ft round net wrapped stored inside. Call for price. Added February 20, 2018.
Name: Don Hatfield
Phone: 315 497 0157
Location: Moravia NY

Wrapped round 4x4 silage bales for sale. NOFA-Vt certified organic. Baled with Welger RP 200s or a Morra MR 1200. Wrapped and stacked immediately after being baled. Tied with net or string, triple wrapped and weigh +/- 1200 lbs. These are 1st cut, soft core bales, averaging 12%P, 60McalE and 100 RFQ.@ $35/bale. Our NOFA-Vt certificate is attached to each invoice. We offer trucking with our tractor trailers @ $85/hr. and will deliver ASAP. 
Added January 12, 2018.
Name: Robbie Nuzzo
Phone: 802-644-5138
Location: Jeffersonville,Vt

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  Mitchell Farm -  Avoca, NY (Steuben County) Added December 8, 2017.


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

Looking to purchase 5-10 certified organic Jersey cows or springing heifers.
Added March 4, 2018.
Name: Rich Larson
Phone: 802-645-0865
Location: Wells, VT

Jersey and jersey cross heifers for sale. MOFGA certified. 1.5 years old, ready to be bred. Healthy and strong. 600$ each. Added February 22, 2018.
Name: Barrett Russell
Phone: 207-314-7168
Location: Winslow, Maine

We are selling organic Brown Swiss and Holstein heifers of various ages. We are also looking to purchase fresh organic cows. Added February 10, 2018.
Name: Julie Davenson
Phone: 6033577278
Animals: Animals
Location: Keene, NH


For additional information on the events below, click here.

February 7, 8 & 9, 2018
Winter Crops & Soils Days, Lamberton, Luverne, & Morris, MN
A collaborative event between the WCROC and the Southwest Research and Outreach Center

February 7-10, 2018
Farming for the Future , 27th Annual PASA Conference
The Penn Stater, State College, PA

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Harvesting Quality Forage, NYCO Winter Meeting
Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY

February 21, 2018
Weed Control in Organic Field Crop Systems
Phone: 607-391-2662
Contact_Name: Fay Benson
Location: McLean Fire Hall, 2 Stevens Road, McLean, NY

March 6, 2018
2018 Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference
Holiday Inn Liverpool/Syracuse, New York

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Adding Pastured Hogs to Diversified Dairy or Crop Farm; Farm Start-Up Opportunities NYCO Winter Meeting
Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY

Tuesday, March 20
Farm Tour: Smith's Tre G Farm
Phone: 607-391-2662
Contact_Name: Fay Benson
Location: Smith's Tre G Farm, 8183 US Route 20, Manilus, NY

March 21 & 22, 2018
Western PA Grazing Conference
Trinity Point Church of God, Clarion, PA

Thursday, March 29 , 2018
Are You Robbing Your Pastures to Feed Your Livestock Program
Phone: 607-391-2662
Contact_Name: Fay Benson
Location: Dryden Fire Hall, 26 North St, Dryden, NY


Andy putting up temporary fencing for youngstock

The Milkhouse Farm & Dairy
Monmouth, Maine

Added January 29, 2018. In 2015, organic dairy farmers Andy Smith (30) and Caitlin Frame (30) closed a deal on a 280-acre farm in the town of Monmouth, Maine. The farm was the culmination of a search to find a location to produce milk for their already established creamery. The farm is an ideal setting for a forage-based dairy with 150 acres of open land and a centrally-located farmstead. To read more please go to:


Added January 29, 2018

Forecast for Organic Dairy
in 2018 & Beyond:

Organic Dairy Producers' Thoughts on the Current State of Organic Dairy

NODPA was formed 17 years ago by organic producers when pay price first became an issue, so what better folks to ask the important questions about the future of the market and organic dairy family farms than organic dairy producers. While there may be a general, underlying trend there is no one reason behind the success and failure of family farms; each are different. We hope that the answers given by these producers will put the current crises in organic dairy in some perspective for each and every family. While the essence of organics is continuous improvement and investment, these next few years will be more like 2010-2013, but with higher costs of inputs. There will be little opportunity for investment in infrastructure and equipment or for improvements in the quality of life. Producers are resilient, but stubbornness must take second place to the reality of losing money over an extended period and the effect on family and quality of life. To read what these producers are thinking please go to:


Friends of the Earth & SumOfUs Producer Survey on the Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The last year and half has brought many changes to corporate control of the farming community. One of the biggest has been the wave of mergers sweeping through the major corporations many of whom producers rely upon for seeds and chemicals. Two major mergers have been completed (Dow & DuPont and Syngenta & ChemChina). One more is still pending: Monsanto and Bayer.

In November, producers met with Department of Justice (DOJ) about the Bayer-Monsanto merger. Those that attended the meeting heard from the DOJ that they are hearing from Bayer and Monsanto that producers are okay with the merger and that farmers don’t mind having limited choices. Producers at the meeting clarified that this is not necessarily the case and that they want choices in terms of seeds and pesticides. DOJ found this information extremely valuable.  As a follow-up, the Friends of the Earth and SumOfUs have put together a producer-specific survey regarding different aspects of the merger. We think the Department of Justice, as well as state attorneys general, will find this information extremely useful in the investigation.

Please help by taking the survey below. It will be used to inform policymakers and law enforcement officials in D.C. and in state capitals about the impact of corporate power on farming.

The survey:

  • is confidential and we will not know any personal information unless you choose to give it to us
  • will take about 12 minutes to complete
  • was designed to help DOJ and agriculture policy makers understand the structure of the market and how farmers make some key decisions

Link to the survey:

Please complete the survey by February 5th.

NOSB: Blast from the Past
& Today's Reality

From the first copy of the NODP News in July 2002 an excerpt from a report on the NOSB by John Cleary who was then the administrator of Vermont Organic Farms LLC (VOF).

“According to the NOP……Certification decisions can only be made based on the standards in the Final Rule, and not based on NOSB recommendations. This places the decision making power over changes to the standards in the hands of the USDA, rather than in the NOSB. While the NOSB was required to accept public comment, the USDA can make these policy decisions without any public input….. policy statements are crafted by NOP staff and are not subject to public comment.  NOSB member, Willie Lockeritz recently resigned from his position due to the frustration of continually having the NOP ignore the work of the NOSB.” 

Fast forward to 2018 and you realize nothing much has changed in the USDA’s approach to organic certification.
On January 25, 2018, the USDA issued a statement that, “Certification of hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic operations is allowed under the USDA organic regulations, and has been since the National Organic Program began.”
This pronouncement was made despite the ambiguous vote on the issue by the NOSB at their Fall 2017 meeting and the 2010 NOSB vote of 14 to 1 recommending that hydroponic production not be allowed to be certified organic. Unfortunately, the USDA National Organic Program did not act on that NOSB recommendation by writing a prohibition of hydroponic production into the organic standards. Even the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA)—the enabling legislation that created the National Organic Program—states that “An organic plan shall contain provisions designed to foster soil fertility, primarily through the management of the organic content of the soil through proper tillage, crop rotation, and manuring.” That statement of OFPA clearly does not allow for hydroponic production to be certified organic.

Some Republicans on the Agriculture Committee are keen to take away the powers and diversity of the NOSB but it seems that the USDA NOP is already doing that month by month. It now dictates their work plan, the agenda of their public meetings, and what they can and cannot discuss at the committee level and in full NOSB sessions. For a more detailed report on the Fall 2017 NOSB meeting, please go to


Organic Milk Pay, Retail & Feed Prices

The supply side of organic milk can be summed up by a quote from Stonyfield Farms in a letter sent to producers: “Unfortunately, at this time, Stonyfield (owned by Lactalis) remains committed to our existing producers, consumers and the New England dairy industry.  Stonyfield is not taking on any new dairy producers through 2018.”  None of the organic milk buyers are taking on new producers; all of them, with the exception of Upstate Niagara, are lowering the farmgate to the high $20’s and base price into the mid $20’s, and DanoneWave is sending 6 month notices of cancellation instead of renewing some contracts. Whole milk sales are expanding at a consistent 6.8% rate although non-fat milk has a drop of 1% in sales, making a 0.2% increase in total sales of organic milk January-October 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

Organic dairy has long known that there is a lack of consistency in implementing the access to pasture regulation and the one time exemption for transitioning operations. The lack of enforcement of these two regulations is part of the cause of the rapid increase in supply when pay prices were high. Large scale dairies, exploiting the loopholes, have rapidly expanded their herds, skewing the supply side of the organic dairy market. Another contributor to a drop in sales of non-fat organic milk product is the rise in sales of plant-based milk, with the Wall Street Journal reporting an increase of 2.9 percent in sales in 2017. The oversupply has been compounded because of a lack of processing facilities to make organic butter, powder and cheese due to an oversupply in the conventional market. For the full report please go to:

Pay Price January 2018

In Memorial

Bruce Drinkman's wife, Mari, passed away this past Christmas Eve. She has had leukemia for the last seven years but for those of you knew her she never let it show. In his NODPA News column Bruce dedicated these words to her:  “She has been a key part in my work to try to provide a better future for farmers. There were many times over the years when she would finish chores so I could make a conference call or make sure that I could get to a meeting whether near or far. She loved being a part of a movement that we could believe in. A movement we must continue. If we do not continue on this journey all of the hard work of people like her will be for naught. I for one will not quit. Her smile may be gone but definitely will not be forgotten.” Our sympathy to Bruce and our thanks for all his great work on behalf of producers.

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

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


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