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Welcome to the January 2009
NODPA Enewsletter

Happy and prosperous New Year from everyone at NODPA ... and welcome to the ice, snow, freezing rain, black ice and landslides.

During the last four months, NODPA staff, Board and Representatives have been busy with coordinating comments on the long awaited Proposed Access to Pasture Rule. The process showed the power of an organic community working together, without resorting to emotional media outbursts, although there were some organizations and farm groups that could not break the habit! With Richard Mathews' national tour of Listening Sessions; meetings sponsored by OTA, National Organic Coalition and the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture (now merged with the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition); many FOOD Farmers conference calls; and the work of individuals ... we developed comprehensive comments that were representative of the organic livestock community. You can find the full 240 page comments at:

and an article summarizing the process and comments at:

Now we can move away from talking about the impracticality of 365 days outside, and mandated sacrificial pasture, which seems very unlikely to be included in the final rule. We now need to focus on educating the new USDA appointees about the importance of a quantifiable measurement for consumption of pasture and last third of gestation for organic dairy replacements.

MODPA’s annual meeting will held at the MOSES Organic Conference, La Crosse on Friday February 27 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm; looking forward to meeting you there. For more information please contact Darlene Coehoorn at 920-921-5541 or Bruce Drinkman at 715-265-4631.

The National Organic Action Plan Summit will be held immediately prior to the Moses conference on February 25-26, 2009 at La Crosse, and will review the draft national organic plan. This draft is the result of many meetings held across the country and is especially important with a new administration. More details at:

Stay warm and well fed
Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

News, Stories & Events

Raindance Farm: High Forage, Low Grain Diet
Keeps 87-Cow Operation Running Smoothly

Siobhan Griffin, along with children Keira & Dale, & partner Rob Grassi, put the focus on their 250 acre pasture system. MORE >

What Obama Means for Organic
There are hints that his ag secretary Tom Vilsack may have an open mind to alternative viewpoints. A column by Sam Fromartz.
Read more.

Dehorning Dairy Cattle With Genetics

Looking at the economic advantages with polled dairy cattle

More >

Consider attending the MOSES 20th Annual ORGANIC FARMING CONFERENCE
February 26-28, 2009 | La Crosse, Wisconsin
Not only will there be FOOD Farmer and national organic plan events at the Moses conference, but it's also the largest organic farming conference in the U.S. In 2008, more than 2,300 people attended, with participants traveling from 37 states and 1 foreign country. Sponsored by the Wisconsin-based Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), the conference is celebrated as the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming community. The conference is highly regarded due to its practical workshops designed to help beginning, transitional, and experienced organic farmers. For more information >


SUPPORT NODPA! Newsletter/membership subscription renewals and a request for donations will be mailed out in the next few weeks. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! PLEASE RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY OR, IF YOU ARE NEW TO ORGANIC DAIRY, PLEASE JOIN! We are not a 501C3 charity, but as a trade organization any subscription or donation can be a business expense (and we all have plenty of those). You can also pay by credit card on the web ... or just send a check to Ed Maltby, 30 Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342. Make checks payable to NODPA

Organic Feed Update
Trade in organic grain leading up to the holidays was slow with prices running about the same as January 2008 and roughly double that of conventional grain. With corn between $9-9.50 a bushel on the farm there are many rumors of a surplus of corn being held back from trading but nothing has shown in the marketplace and the price for16 and 18% prepared feed has not come down. For more prices, click here.

Access to Pasture Rule:
Win, Lose or Draw for Producers?

In this final installment in our ongoing coverage of the pasture rule process, NODPA Executive Director Ed Maltby summarizes what's been happening over the past several years. You'll also find a link from this article to comments submitted by farmers around the country. Read more.

Pasture Access Rule Listening Session Transcripts Posted
The National Organic Program has posted the transcripts of listening sessions held in December in Pennsylvania, Texas and California on its proposed access to pasture regulation. The transcripts are available as PDF files on
the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service website

Upcoming Events

Check out our comprehensive listing of upcoming conferences, workshops and other events. Click here for details.

Farmer Classifieds

Click here for the latest classifieds. Lots of organic baleage available. Herds wanted, and cattle available. Relief milking/farm sitting services available. | email: