newsletter banner
NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | August 17, 2013

Say No to setting up an Organic Check-Off
Say Yes to permanently exempting all organically
certified operations from paying into federal
mandatory check-off programs

There are a lot of things organic farmers need to know about the Organic Check-Off program which the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is very actively lobbying Congress to pass in the 2013 Farm Bill. It is critical that all organic farmers understand how this will impact them and immediately express their views on this important issue.

The Organic Trade Association is singlehandedly moving the proposed Organic Check-off Program through Congress. They have deep pockets and access to resources that have already got bi-partisan support for their proposed program in a deeply divided Congress. Over the past eighteen months, the OTA has hired very proficient and highly paid lobbyists to push their legislative language through Congress. They are using sophisticated and expensive media campaigns that include mass mailings to organic farmers across the country to promote their program. In the process, the views of thousands of organic farmers are being ignored or distorted by OTA so as to confuse Congress and present themselves as the sole voice representing all organic farmers.

We, the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), the Northeast Organic Farming Assoc. of New York, Inc. (NOFA-NY), the Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing Inc. (OFARM), the Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (MODPA), the Food and Water Watch and Francis Thicke (dairy farmer and National Organic Standards Board member), do not have deep pockets or access to vast resources in order to  present an alternative view to OTA; therefore, Congress only hears one voice and one perspective. However, we have developed ways for everyone to have their views heard.  
As individuals, you can sign this petition that says that you DO NOT support the establishment of an Organic Check-off program but you DO support a permanent exemption which would exempt all organically certified operations from paying into federal mandatory check-off programs.

As an organization, you can sign on to a letter that states your organization is opposed to the creation of an Organic Check-off Program but supports exempting all organically certified operations from paying into any of the existing check-off programs. To sign on to the letter please send an email to  with NO to an Organic Check-Off in the subject line.

The sign-on letter is below and at:

LINK to letter

This letter will be presented to all venues engaged in organic check-off program discussions and legislation, including all members of Congress, all Farm Bill House and Senate conference committee members,  all Congresional committees that OTA might engage to include legislative language promoting an organic check-off,  and to the USDA.

For more infromation on the Organic Check-Off Program please go to:

The sign-on letter:

Regarding the proposal by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) to implement an Organic Research and Promotion Program – Organic Check-off

We do support exempting all organically certified operations from paying into Check-off programs

We do not support the establishment of a federal, USDA mandated, ‘Organic Research and Promotion Program’

In summary, we do not think past Check off programs have been beneficial to farmers, and we are strongly opposed to initiating an organic Check off program.  Organic farmers who are aware of the organic Check off proposed by OTA are overwhelmingly opposed to it.  We urge you to resist OTA’s efforts to impose a Check off program on organic farmers.

Respectfully Submitted

NODPA’s 13th Annual Field Days’ is just around the corner – September 26 and 27

This year’s event takes place in North Central Pennsylvania on Thursday and Friday, September 26th and 27th at the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall in Mansfield, PA.
With a program, titled Organic Dairy: Innovative Strategies to Stay Profitable, NODPA is collaborating with Holistic Management International (HMI), with a farm tour and educational sessions that will interest everyone.

As organic dairy farm families are digging ever deeper to find ways to produce organic milk more cost effectively, the Field Days program will feature current research and practical strategies that will increase cash income as well as enhance the health, productivity and profitability of their land.

The keynote speaker on Thursday evening will be Kevin Englebert, longtime organic dairy farmer and policy expert, who will give his thoughts on the future of the organic seal. Kevin‘s knowledge of organic farming and policy comes from practical farming experience and many long hours serving on the NOSB. Kevin will provide a perspective of the organic family farmer  which may be different from that of the processors who are looking at a variety of future options. Organic Valley, at their annual meeting, explored the idea of increasing their international partnerships; WhiteWave is looking at a more diversified product line in their future; Gary Hirschberg and Stonyfield are looking at a more regional option and tentatively exploring how they can stimulate more organic dairies in the Northeast. It will be a very timely conversation with one of the leaders of organic dairy.

Come and participate in these important discussions, learn new ways to become more profitable, eat good food and, most of all, visit with each other.

For more details and to register go to:























































 | email: