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


Organic Checkoff

Field Days 2016
Field Days 2015

Field Days Archives

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

Farmer Classifieds
Business Directory
Contact Us

Featured Farms

Support NODPA


NODPA depends on the memberships of farmers, consumers and businesses for support of all its efforts--regionally and in Washington--on behalf of the organic dairy farmers.

If you're an organic dairy farmer, consider one of the following: a milk check-off membership or an annual newsletter membership or choose your own level of annual dues to support NODPA. Learn more >

If you're a business
, consider our high-value business membership.

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

You can now make easy, secure online credit card payments.










NODPA’s Mission:

To enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the well being of the organic dairy industry as a whole.

Please share our website!


Payprice Summary Chart: 2006 to 2013

Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.

Organic Milk, Pay,
Retail and Feed Prices March 2017

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.

March feed and pay price update

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 >


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
Phone: 315-324-6904
Location: Hammond,NY

34 PCO Certified Organic Heifers, Dam raised on pasture, Jersey and Cross, Fall Calving
Added March 1, 2017
Name: Terry Ingram
Phone: 540-270-8355
Location: Brandy Station, VA

Jersey Heifers for Sale (Added February 7, 2017.)
Four Certified Organic Jersey Heifers, due to calve May - July. $1,950 each. Located in Burke, NY. 518-521-0496 or
Name: Bradley and Kathryn Kent
Phone: 518-521-0496
Location: Burke, NY


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: 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; for assistance, contact Abbie Teeter at, 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, 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.)
Job Description:
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,

Position- Dairy Herd Manager/Couple
Farm at Cold Brook is in search of a herd manager, prefer a working couple that will join a progressive milking team and farm managers.

Full time position with scheduled time off. Advancement possible with schooling and continuing education available for the right people.

New facilities fall of 2016, expansion to 300 cows planned through 2019. A cooperative work environment. Housing provided, pay dependent on experience.

We are seeking herd managers with strong work ethic, good character, and good morals. Position will responsible for feeding and milking on a rotational schedule and will be responsible for fresh/maternity cows and overseeing parlor and calf feedings to ensure all procedures are being followed. We are also looking for someone with strong herd health experience and be able to spot and prevent sick cows. Positions are also responsible for record keeping and inventory of vet and parlor supplies. Herd manager will work with nutritionist, veterinarian, cooperate with other managers to maintain excellent herd health and facilities.

Tim Wightman General Manager,
Call 765-277-3352 or email at
Location: Cold Brook NY
Added February 17, 2017.

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC in Binghamton NY is Hiring
Added February 14, 2017.
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 900 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas.

We are hiring for full-time (40 hours/week) position(s) working in of our Binghamton, NY office 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 more information on this position and our organization visit

The ideal candidate will have a college degree in a related area, or equivalent by training or experience, and knowledge of Dairy production.  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.

Dairy Certification Coordinator Assistant
Salary: $25K - $29K depending on experience
Primary responsibilities include providing administrative support to the Dairy Certification Coordinator to ensure the timely intake and flow of certification applications through the entire certification process.  Key duties include assisting with phones, emails, letter writing, data input, and deadline management.

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to:

Director of Marketing and Development:
Added February 3, 2017.
Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) announces an opening for Director of Marketing and Development. This director will lead the Education and Outreach Team and oversee PCO’s resource development, education and outreach, marketing and public relations programs. The ideal candidate will have education and experience in the following areas: writing proposals and securing funding, conducting community education and outreach, and leading marketing initiatives. We are looking for a well-organized and self-motivated person to join our team. This position is based in our Spring Mills, PA, office. Remote work locations will be considered.

This is a full-time, exempt position.
Salary: $55,000 - $65,000, depending on experience.
Benefits: health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; Simple IRA, generous holiday, vacation and paid time off.
Position will remain open until filled. A full job description is available on our website Please send resume and cover letter to


For additional information on the events below, click here.

March 2017

March 30, 2017 from 1-4pm
NYS Livestock Summit
At 8 locations throughout the state

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, or 413-772-0444.

Featured Farm: Faith In Grass
Peace Hollow Farm, Knoxville, MD

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 March 23, 2017

Federal Mandated Organic Checkoff:

Stop the organic check off program (a Tax) by commenting on the Proposed Rule before April 19th

A federally mandated, USDA administered Research and Promotion Program (R&P) is not the right structure for raising research money to boost domestic organic production. The 1996 Act, under which the organic checkoff was made possible with the 2014 Farm Bill, was not designed as a multi-commodity checkoff to promote domestic production and research for a process based standard.

The OTA’s proposed organic checkoff now translated into a Proposed Rule by USDA is impractical, invasive, bureaucratic, inequitable, undemocratic and ineffective.

  • One vote per certificate holder - Producers will have to pay a poll tax to qualify to vote on establishing an organic checkoff and then have no effective say in how the money is spent.
  • The functioning of USDA checkoffs is never transparent and historically they have been badly managed.
  • Those that designed the method of assessment obviously had no idea about the economics of small to mid-size organic family farms.
  • Walmart will not pay any assessments – their co-packers might have to, which will drive down the price paid to producers.
  • USDA stretches the term ‘de minimis quantity of the commodity’ to include 76% of organically certified producers and 12% of the dollar value of organic production.
  • For those organic producers and handlers that are part of a conventional checkoff, they will have no choice as to paying into a checkoff because they will lose the exemption from all checkoffs once an organic checkoff is approved.


For analysis on the organic checkoff, please go to:


For more on the organic checkoff:

Is there a future in Organic Dairy?

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:

Organic Dairy Farm Profitability in 2015

Difficult Respiratory Cases in the
Bovine and their Treatment with Western Herbal Medicines

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:


Feed and Pay Prices March 2016

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:

Feed/Payprice March

Save the Date
for the 2017 NODPA Field Days

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, 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. 

Added February 15, 2017

Resilient Farming for a Changing Climate

Extreme weather events and conditions are now the new normal, and as farmers, our challenge is increasingly to learn how to adapt, be more resilient, and be as agile as possible in our response. MORE >

Organic Milk Pay, Feed and Retail Price
Update for January 2017

Sales of organic fluid milk increased by four percent a year through October 2015-October 2016, compared to the same period in 2014-2015. This is compared to zero growth in sales for the same period 2013-2014 compared to 2014-2015. The average retail price for organic half gallons in 2016 was $3.96 compared to $3.90 in 2015. MORE >

Highlights of the NOSB Meeting
St. Louis, MO - November 16 to 18, 2016

The USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met for its Fall Meeting Nov 16 -18th, 2016 in St. Louis, MO. The Agenda was packed full with many presentations including the: NOP Update, National List Materials Update, National Organic Program Peer Review Report and NOP Response, and the State of Organic Seed Report. More >

When Correcting Your Soil
Costs Too Much

What good is a soil test if it costs too much to follow
the advice given? More often than not, this is a major complaint concerning fertilizer requirements, even from those who believe they should follow the recommended advice as closely as possible. Learn more >

Major farm groups to Trump:
Adopt GIPSA rules

Politics aside, the best reason of all to keep GIPSA’s proposed Farmer Fair Practices Rules: It’s the right thing to do for farmers, ranchers, and all Americans who believe in fair play and open, transparent markets. MORE >

The American Grassfed Association Grassfed Dairy Standard to be launched February 8th, 2017

The American Grassfed Association’s (AGA) Board of Directors has given final approval to the new AGA Grassfed Dairy Standard. More than a year in development, the standard is the result of the work of a diverse group of stakeholders. MORE >

FYI: Useful Information
for Organic Dairy Farmers

Ag census, surveys, cost share programs and more >



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