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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | July 17, 2010

A host of critical organic dairy issues on the burner ... and a NODPA field days coming soon

Dairy is never short of discussion topics and emotional views on all sides of important issues. This summer is no different with raw milk debates, restrictions and regulations; Department of Justice Dairy hearings; sales of organic milk increasing by 9%; lifting of production caps and ending of quotas; implementation of the Access to Pasture Rule with many different interpretations; High Court hearings on GM Alfalfa; Organic Valley’s launch of their fortified milk; and the many different ideas for supply management/margin insurance/federal marketing order reform in the non-organic dairy industry.

While these issues are buzzing around, NODPA is also preparing for its annual Field Days which will be in Unity ME on October 7th and 8th at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) Education Center and Common Ground Fairgrounds. We are excited that our Thursday evening keynote speaker will be Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program. He will also answer questions on the pasture rule and other regulations on Friday morning.

Other speakers include Lawrence Andres, Dr. Heather Darby and an on-farm renewable energy panel of producers and resource people discussing various conservation and renewable energy enterprises and practices. There are a couple of new features this year: Thursday afternoon will spotlight renewable energy projects, strategies and opportunities with concurrent demonstrations, workshops and displays followed by a social hour during which the documentary film “What’s Organic about Organic?” will be previewed,  then a wonderful dinner.  The Keynote address and NODPA’s Annual Meeting (open to all) will round out the evening. Friday morning we will again show the documentary film, ‘What’s Organic about Organic?’ while the producer-only meeting takes place.

Put it on your calendar and plan to attend this event, which promises plenty of good education, excellent company and great food. In addition, Horizon Organic has donated money to assist organic dairy producers with costs associated with attending Field Days including travel, relief milkers and other costs associated with leaving the farm. We also need your help to celebrate with Henry Perkins as he retires from organic dairy and as President of NODPA.

Sponsors, supporters and tradeshow participants are still welcome! For new contributors and tradeshow folks, your support will be noted in the Field Days Brochure, in the September NODPA News and in e-newsletters before and after the event. Please email Nora Owens ( or call her, 413-772-0444, with questions or to request further information. The deadline for getting listed in the brochure is August 1st. For more information on October's Field Days (schedule, featured speakers, sponsors and registration) click here.

In these dog days of summer we never forget that our livestock need shade, plenty of water and to be kept cool; it is also true that humans need shade and water, and that productivity drops with heat (as might your patience as well). Farm accidents always happen to someone else but with many farmers unable to afford repair and maintenance for equipment, the stress of heat and hurrying to get high quality forage harvested can cause accidents. Be safe, careful and remember family farms need families, so take care of yourselves as well as your livestock. 

Ed Maltby
NODPA Executive Director

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The full effect of the downturn in demand for organic dairy has been felt by all producers across the country, but we are now entering a period where demand is increasing. Get more details, charts and analysis by clicking here.


Get the latest East and Midwest feed prices, along with charts showing multi-year price trends. Click here for more.

NODPA’s 10th Annual Field Days And Producer Meeting
October 7 and 8,
MOFGA's Common Ground Fairgrounds in Unity Main

Click here to learn more about the event ... and register online.

Attention Sponsors, Supporters, Trade Show participants:
You still have until August 1 to take advantage of our sponsorship oportunities. Nora Owens, Field Days Coordinator is happy to answer any questions you may have:
phone: 413-772-0444 

NODPA is funded through membership contributions and grants.

Learn more about how you can support NODPA by clicking here.

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