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,
Added March 23, 2017.
The dismal state of the organic market has many organic dairy and transitional producers questioning their future. Despite rising retail sales, admittedly only averaging 5.7% over all fat levels, we are in a supply. While this surplus is similar to the 2009 situation, there are different characteristics. Principally, the differences are the increase in sales of whole milk over non-fat products, the increased consumer popularity of Grassfed milk, the availability of organic processing capacity, and the increased volume of milk that has to be absorbed by a conventional market in surplus.
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.
For full classifieds, click here.
Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >
Certified organic Holstein heifer, due in June, asking $1600; Certified organic Jersey heifer, due in June, asking $$1500. Both friendly, stanchioned trained. Located in Guilford, Vermont; 802-254-6982. Added April 18, 2017.
Name: Phillip Cutting
Location: Guilford, Vermont
I have six goa certified organic heifers for sale. hol, hol x jersey & jersey. Baggin up now. Feed corn silage, haylage & hay. Located in near Cortland NY. All ai sired & bred to jersey service bull.
shipped to horizon and sold cows.
prices vary depending upon how many taken.
can arrange trucking.
Added April 11, 2017.
home # 315.497.3740
cell # 315.237.1358
Certified organic Jersey Cow, 4 yrs old. due in May with 3rd calf. Easy breeder and nice udder. Also 4 Jersey/Holstein cross 2 yr olds to freshen this summer, 3 well grown Holstein yearlings, 5 well grown Jersey/Holstein cross yearlings. 1 march Holtsein heifer calf.
Added March 23, 2017
Name: Ila Terry
34 PCO Certified Organic Heifers, Dam raised on pasture, Jersey and Cross, Fall Calving
Added March 1, 2017
Name: Terry Ingram
Location: Brandy Station, VA
Forage and Grains
For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic Feed -- BALEAGE (1st clover, Oatlage, 2nd grass mix, grass/alfalfa mix), Heifer HAY, and BEDDING. Also for sale -- Hesston BP25 TUB GRINDER, NI 40' Hay ELEVATOR, JD 494A & 1240 CORN PLANTERS. Call Jeff (Mitchell Farm - Avoca, NY - Steuben County) @ 607-566-8477 or email Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com. Added April 14, 2017.
General Livestock Assistant
(Added April 26, 2017) Brookford Farm is a large, diversified operation nestled along the banks of the Merrimack River in central New Hampshire, a short drive north of Concord. The farm acquired this 650-acre plot and moved from a leased location four years ago. We grow about 40 acres of certified organic vegetables, raise pastured layers, broilers, and hogs, and rotationally graze our dairy and beef animals. The dairy cows' diet is supplemented with organic grain, but we feed no soy, corn, or corn silage. Our milk is all bottled raw or turned into various cultured products right here on the farm, and moved through our 300 member year-round CSA, farmers markets, and local groceries and restaurants.
The General Livestock Assistant would be expected to milk 6 shifts per week, feed out bales and bed down barns through the winter, monitor herd and calf health, set up and move temporary fencing during the grazing season, and assist with construction projects. There will also be a fair amount of work with the chickens: moving them on pasture, feeding and collecting eggs. Those with tractor experience (preferred) may expect to help with mucking out, turning compost, cropping, and haying. Once settled in, the candidate will be expected to anticipate and execute tasks on their own or with the livestock team.
Previous animal husbandry experience is required, and dairy experience is preferred, but not absolutely necessary. We are looking for patient individuals who are committed to low-stress livestock handling. The ideal candidate would be observant and organized, possess strong communication skills and a positive attitude, and be proactive and hardworking. Must be capable of lifting 50lb bags multiple times a day and working through inclement weather.
Compensation based on experience. Please send a resume, two references, and a brief letter of interest. If you are interested in a different type of position on the farm, or have a partner who would also be looking for employment, contact for availability.
Contact: Luke Mahoney, Brookford Farm
Location: Canterbury, NH
Dairy Worker Wanted (Added March 16, 2017.)
Position on 65 cow certified 100% grassfed organic dairy in central NY. Duties include milking in swing parlor, grazing and feeding. Housing may be available. Applicants must have drivers license, reliable transportation, dairy experience and be able to lift 50 lbs. Pay based upon experience, ability and availability. Contact: email@example.com or (607) 699-7968.
Manager of Farm Operations
The University of New Hampshire is seeking a Manager of Farm Operations. Under the general direction of the Dean for the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA)/Director of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES), the Manager of Farm Operations is responsible for coordinating efforts of all the NHAES/COLSA research and teaching farms, the Farm Services unit and their service providers in order to provide high quality and efficient research and teaching resources for NHAES/COLSA, UNH and stakeholders across the state and region. For a full description and to apply, visit
UNH is an AA/EEO Employer. UNH is committed to excellence through the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages women and minorities to apply.
NY Dairy Grazing Apprentice Program Wants Aspiring Farmers, Master Grazier
Wanted: aspiring dairy farmers and Dairy Master Graziers to stem the tide of retiring dairy farmers in New York State (Added March 9, 2017.)
Cornell Small Dairy Support Specialist Fay Benson is recruiting participants for the New York edition of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program, the groundbreaking, nationally-recognized apprenticeship program for the agricultural industry
Apprentice candidates must be at least 18 years old; have a high school diploma or equivalent, e.g., GED or composite ACT score of at least 18; be physically able to do the work a farm requires; and have reliable transportation
A Master Grazier must have at least five years experience with managed grazing or certified organic dairying an an interest in mentoring someone interested in dairy career entry.
Successful completion of the DGA provides the apprentice with a journeyman certificate recognized for college-level credit by the New York Department of Labor. The journeyperson experience may help secure a beginning farmer loan with FSA or a bank
The Cornell Dairy Farm Business Summary has shown that dairies that use grazing are more profitable than non-grazing dairies of similar size. Grazing is a way to lower fee costs while maintaining animal health and agricultural stewardship
The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program that began in Wisconsin in 2009 is now approved in nine states: IA, ME, MN, MO, NJ, NY, PA, VT, and WI
Those interested in becoming an apprentice or serving as a Dairy Master Grazier may apply online at www.dga-national.org; for assistance, contact Abbie Teeter at firstname.lastname@example.org, 607-391-2660 ext 412. Once registered, the apprentices and Dairy Master Graziers can search the entries across the 9-state region to initiate discussion of a possible apprenticeship opportunity.
To learn more about the New York Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2660, email@example.com. Benson is project manager for the NY Organic Dairy Program, an educator with the Cornell University South Central NY Regional Team, coordinator of the NY Soil Health Trailer, and a member of the New York Crop Insurance Education Team.
Organic Grass-fed Dairy Manager (Added February 28, 2017.)
The Farm Manager will supervise, coordinate and run the day-to-day operations of the farm. This includes all aspects of grazing, health and breeding for the dairy herd. This also includes all aspects of parlor and milk room management. Additionally, the Farm Manager will be responsible for overseeing poultry and swine operations as well as coordinating personnel issues and employee scheduling with the Proprietor. The Farm Manager must be a self-motivated, methodical and meticulous individual who is willing to work hard, is flexible and has loads of enthusiasm!
Contact: Michael Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information on the events below, click here.
May 15-24, 2017
Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese
Phone: 802. 586. 7711
Contact Name: Lucy Hankison
Location: Craftsbury Common, VT
June 12-16, 2017
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking
Phone: 802. 586. 7711
Contact Name: Lucy Hankison
Location: Craftsbury Common, VT
August 11 - 13, 2017
NOFA Summer Conference SAVE THE DATE
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
September 27 to 29, 2017 SAVE THE DATE
The 2017 Grassfed Exchange
The Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY
September 28-29, 2017-SAVE THE DATE
NODPA Field Days
Truxton Community Center, Truxton, NY
Program information will be available soon online and in the May NODPA News. The Farm Tour will be at Kirk and Kathy Arnold’s Twin Oak Dairy, Truxton, NY. For Sponsorship and Trade Show information, contact Nora Owens, email@example.com or 413-772-0444.
Myron and Janet Martin own and operate Peace Hollow Farm - a Knoxville, Maryland all-grass dairy. Myron and Janet, both in their early 50’s, farm in Pleasant Valley- a mile wide valley in Washington County, Maryland, bound by the Appalachian Trail to the east, the Potomac River to the south, and Elk Ridge to the west. The home farm is 118 acres, a V-shaped property with the buildings situated at the narrow end. This ground serves as pasture for their 80-head of milk cows. In 2007, the Martins purchased a neighboring 100-acre farm where they raise their heifers and all their bull calves. 50 acres of the heifer/steer farm is used for grazing and 50 for stored forage. They rent an additional 60 acres of hay ground. To read more about their low cost approach please go to:
Added April 11, 2017
No more procrastinating –
we need your comment now
Stop the organic check off program (a Tax) by commenting on the Proposed Rule before April 19th
The OTA’s proposed organic checkoff now translated into a Proposed Rule by USDA is impractical, invasive, bureaucratic, inequitable, undemocratic and ineffective. Comment now to stop the process and the historic division of the organic community. OTA must withdraw their divisive proposal now so we can all work together to protect and grow organic in these tough political times.
The following bulleted points highlight the problems with this rule and can be used in your comments:
SUBMIT COMMENTS TO USDA TODAY TO STOP THE CHECKOFF - THE DEADLINE IS APRIL 19
Submit Online: http://bit.ly/organicTAX (link to Federal comment site)
Promotion & Economics Div., Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Rm 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, D.C. 20250-0244
Fax comments: (202) 205-2800
For analysis on the organic checkoff, please go to:
For ideas on raising money for organic research, please go to:
Liana Hoodes blog on the organic checkoff:
For more on the organic checkoff:
NODPA News, January 2017:
“If Danone is required to sell off their subsidiary, Stonyfield Yogurt and retail milk brands, to satisfy the Justice Department approval of their acquisition of WhiteWave, Organic Valley Fresh or some similar CROPP joint venture would be ideally positioned to purchase the brand. This would expand their retail presence and their product mix while securing a market for their producers, particularly those in New England and the Northeast.”
From the DOJ Press release, 4/3/2017:
“The Department of Justice announced today that it will require Danone S.A. to divest Danone’s Stonyfield Farms business in order for Danone to proceed with its $12.5 billion acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company Inc. “The proposed acquisition would have blunted competition between the top two purchasers of raw organic milk in the Northeast and the producers of the three leading brands of organic milk in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s proposed settlement will ensure competitive marketplaces for both farmers in the northeast that sell raw organic milk and consumers who purchase fluid organic milk in stores nationwide.”
In the NODPA News November 2016 issue, we did an in depth study and analysis of the proposed acquisition by Danone of White Wave. (LINK to article) In that article and in conversations with the Department of Justice, industry leaders, investor groups and producers we laid out the problem and possible solutions to the reduction of competition between the two leading buyers and top brands in the markets for raw and fluid organic milk, potentially harming dairy farmers in the Northeast and U.S. consumers of fluid organic milk. Working with the Cornucopia Institute and others, the case was made on the effect of the acquisition resulting in a landmark decision about the effect on producers and consumers of the consolidation of the organic industry.
In looking at the buyers for Stonyfield, Dean’s name has obviously been mentioned as has Uniliver (Ben & Jerry’s), General Mills, Aurora Dairy Group, Chobani and PepsiCo as it is a valuable entry point into organic dairy with an established market and a dedicated supply.
Any prospective buyer will need to identify what supply agreements they intend to enter into once they own Stonyfield. The supply agreement with CROPP has approximately three years to run and the assumption is that any buyer will continue to honor that agreement. In the best possible case, in the future Stonyfield will expand its own pool of milk and increase the number of buyers in the Northeast to three rather than the two, which will be the best interpretation of the DOJ’s ruling. Stonyfield also has the option of working with other smaller buyers and Dairy Marketing Services to source their long term supply. A second option will be to continue with CROPP as their main supplier and maintain the status–quo for the foreseeable future. Whatever way it goes, the DOJ ruling is a good solution for organic dairy producers as it is an opportunity to expand competition for organic farmgate milk and deprive Danone/WhiteWave from any intimidation of CROPP by holding supply contracts as leverage for their cooperation on the supply side and in the organic consumer market.
For the full DOJ press release please go to:
Help is available for dairy farmers! With support from the Keep Local Farms Fund of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, Land For Good is offering farm transfer planning and succession advising to commercial, cow milk dairy farms at reduced or no cost, for a limited time. Land For Good is a nonprofit organization providing land access, tenure, and transfer services throughout New England. We maintain a network of state-based Field Agents who work with farmers through a customized, personalized, team-based approach to farm succession and transfer planning. We can:
By Liz Baldwin – NODPA President
A producer asked the group for suggestions to control lice in his herd. Several farmers suggested feeding Agri-Dynamics’ “Flies Be Gone’. Other recommendations included Crystal Creek’s No-Fly, Ectophyte, Sulphur powder, powdered tobacco, and PyGanic. It should be noted that there was some confusion over whether PyGanic is still allowed for use on livestock; different certifiers may have different interpretations. So check with your certifier. One person on the list quoted a NYS IPM Guide for Organic Dairies stating, “PyGanic is the most effective OMRI-approved pesticide available for use against lice in organic production.” In all the external treatments, producers were reminded that there must be a second treatment, 10 to 14 days after the first, to kill the newly hatched lice. For more excerpts from the ODairy listserve please go to:
Join the active and informative email list serve by going to:
Added March 23, 2017
There are many different reasons why producers enter organic dairy and each farm family has different priorities within their mission statement and family goals. A high priority for every producer is economic sustainability. A sustainable pay price is needed to keep all committed farm families in business and although not a ‘birth right,’ producers should have a ‘living wage’ just as other working folks have a minimum wage or are fairly compensated for their labor and capital investment. If that doesn’t happen we will have the same situation that exists in the conventional market, relying on larger operations that have the economies of scale and financial resources to sustain themselves with all the peaks and troughs of the market. While we are currently in one of those troughs for pay price and organic milk utilization created by oversupply, we need to look at historical data to analyze the potential for the future. The great long team work that Bob Parsons and his colleagues, including Lisa McCrory, have done over the last decade serves us well for managing our future better. Bob has created years of data that show the relationship between management and profitability, highlighting the higher costs of organic production that require higher pay prices (not premiums) to remain sustainable with a reasonable lifestyle.
To read in more detail Bob’s summary and analyses of the data please go to:
By Cynthia J. Lankenau, DVM
“Herbal medicines provide such a multi-pronged approach to disease that in these difficult to treat diseases, herbal medicine shines as the therapeutic modality.
Bovine Respiratory diseases initially presents as an acute viral invasion. Energetically this can present as invading ‘Cold’ pathogen that creates severe stagnation. If the animal has an underlying immune deficiency, a stressed animal from shipping or a calf with minimal colostrum, this can rapidly develop into significant phlegm, and more stagnation with then secondary heat; (translated as an initial viral infection, leading to a bacterial infection).”
To read all of Dr. Lankenau’s article, please go to:
The dismal state of the organic market has many organic dairy and transitional producers questioning their future. Despite rising retail sales, admittedly only averaging 5.7% over all fat levels, we are in a supply. While this surplus is similar to the 2009 situation, there are different characteristics. Principally, the differences are the increase in sales of whole milk over non-fat products, the increased consumer popularity of Grassfed milk, the availability of organic processing capacity, and the increased volume of milk that has to be absorbed by a conventional market in surplus. With the surplus comes a drop in pay price and restrictions on volume, either voluntarily or, as is the case with CROPP, imposition of a $20 deduction per cwt for milk over the active quota. Producers’ responses will be to cut back on expansion plans, decrease cow numbers, rear fewer replacements, feed less grain and/or lengthen the calving dates. At the same time that producers are being asked to cut back production, the largest, vertically integrated organic dairy (Aurora Dairy) is actively expanding production and processing ability. Manufacturers that require organic dairy ingredient are looking to source their own supply, and we have the brand leader of organic milk (WhiteWave/Horizon) being acquired by the brand leader of organic yogurt (Danone/ Stonyfield). The number of buyers of organic milk is shrinking rapidly and any leverage to affect their pay price that producers may have had in the past has disappeared. A producer can’t move to another buyer if there are no active buyers in the region. Dairies cannot transition if there are no buyers looking for more milk.
For more on Feed and Pay price plus many charts of historical data, please go to:
2017 NODPA Field Days, September 28 & 29, 2017 at the Truxton Community Center, Truxton, NY
The NODPA Board of Directors and State Representatives have selected centrally located Truxton, NY as the site for the 17th Annual NODPA Field Days. This central New York location will be ideal driving distance for farmers coming from New England, New York and Pennsylvania.
Planning for the educational program is just getting started but we are already planning the Farm Tour to Twin Oaks Dairy, the Truxton, NY-based dairy farm owned and operated by the Arnold family. Kirk Arnold, NODPA Board of Directors’ Vice President, and Kathie Arnold, his mother and a founding member of NODPA, will lead the tour of their farm and newly constructed 3-row, 136 freestall barn with a double 12 rapid exit parallel Delaval parlor. This new construction features Dairy Master alley scrapers, drive-through feeding with headlocks and slant bars, Lely Juno feed pusher robot, DCC waterbeds, automated curtains by Seneca Dairy Systems, a 40x40 bedpack for special needs cows, insulated cathedral ceiling, ventilation chimneys, and a 57 kW solar system. As with all of the NODPA Field Days farm tours, this one promises to be informative and full of innovative practices.
Opportunities to sponsor and support this event are available, along with trade show information, and we will be sending it out soon and posting it on our website shortly. Contact Nora Owens, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 413-772-0444, if you have questions, want to get involved or would like more information. So, get out your calendars and SAVE THE DATES for the 17th Annual NODPA Field Days, and look for full program information in the May NODPA News.