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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | November 2008
Final Pasture Rule by Spring 2009 – Implementation in Spring 2010

Welcome to NODPA’ November electronic newsletter. As we predicted in the last NODPA News, the Proposed Pasture Rule was published October 24, 2008 with a 60-day comment period.

Overall, this rule includes everything that producers have asked for and guarantees to consumers that organic milk production meets their expectations. It holds organic dairy producers to a high standard, a standard which consumers expect for products labeled as certified organic. It also gives very clear language that certifiers can use to implement the rule fairly and universally.

We offer a wide variety of resources on the NODPA web site to help you make sense of the new rule. Read about our pasture rule resources, below, for more information.

Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

News, Stories & Events

Featured Farm: For Amos Nolt's
Organic Dairy, No Grain, No Problem
Nolt, an Ohio CROPP/Organic Valley member, relies on top forages, barley baleage and chicken manure. READ MORE >

Pasture Rule Resources

Access to Pasture: The Details

NODPA members and staff put their heads together to provide a thoughtful commentary on highlights of the rule: the unalloyed positives, and the areas where language still needs to be tweaked.
Learn More >

The pasture rule - What happens next?
The comment period on the proposed rule will end on December 23, 2008, unless the organic community asks for an extension. After reviewing the comments, the USDA NOP will write up a final rule, take it through the federal process and hopefully publish a final rule in spring 2009. There will likely be a phase-in period of a complete grazing season to give certifiers time to adapt their forms, educate inspectors and give producers time to make any changes they may need to their existing farm. IF we can keep the process moving, final implementation would likely be in spring 2010. MORE >

Up close and personal:
How the new pasture rule, as now written, would affect dairy farmers. MORE >

Documents of Interest
For a collection of valuable documents, including the complete rule (showing deletions and additions), CLICK HERE.

Upcoming Pasture Rule Meetings

Pre-NOSB Meeting, Sunday Nov. 16, 2008 Noon to 6 pmSponsored by National Organic Coalition, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
Location: Hotel Savoy Suites, Ballroom B (same hotel as NOSB meeting) 2505 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington DC 20007 (Georgetown)
Phone: 202-337-9700
Note: Please eat ahead of time: NO lunch will be served. Drinks and snacks will be provided at around 2:00 pm

Noon -- 2:00

  • Farm Bill Implementation Update
  • NOSB
  • Aquaculture
  • "Grower Groups"
  • Other NOSB agenda items: TAP Reviews, Definitions
  • Materials
  • SCS label update
  • IFOAM North America update

2:00 -- 6:00-- Discussion of "Pasture" Rule

Given the recent promulgation of the proposed "Pasture" Rule, and the short time-frame for comments, we will spend most of this meeting seeking agreement as to where changes are needed in the proposed rule. Please come to the table with your proposed solutions (that is, specific language changes, or items to be removed).
It is the intention of our groups to work to develop a consistent message by the end of November in order to have most of December for our networks to get comments to USDA by the December 23 deadline.

In order to make sure there are enough chairs, Please RSVP to: Liana Hoodes (

OTA hosts organic community meeting
on proposed pasture rule, Monday, Nov. 17, 2008

OTA is hosting a roundtable discussion on the NOP’s proposed rule on access to pasture for ruminants. The meeting will be held directly following the NOSB meeting on Monday, November 17 in Washington D.C. Meeting time and location: 5:30- 7:30 pm, FORTUNE Room at the Holiday Inn Georgetown at 2101 Wisconsin Ave. If raining, you can call the front desk of the Holiday Inn at 202-338-4600 to request a ride from the NOSB meeting location (Hotel Savoy Suites).

USDA Listening sessions:

  • First week in December in Wisconsin
  • Early December in CA


NODPA Field Days Photos 2008

The Field Days, as usual, was a great gathering of farmers who met to discuss politics, marketing and production. In addition, over 50 people joined Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens to learn more about the Marrowstem Kale (Bonanza Variety) trial taking place at Bejo Seeds, take a tour of the Lakeview Organic Grain facility, spend time at the Martens’ 1400 acre farm, and visit some of the surrounding corn fields that will be soon harvested for grain. Scroll through photos of the event.

Also from the
Field Days ...

Ed Maltby, NODPA's Executive Director, summarizes what happened at the Field Days. MORE >

Clark Driftmier from Fairhaven Strategies speaks on “Organic History and Trends." Click here for a PDF of his powerpoint presentation.

Organic Grain Update
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) recently released a new publication, Using Vertically Coordinated Relationships to Overcome Tight Supply in the Organic Market. Here is a link to that outlook report:

For updated pricing for organic feed on the NODPA web site,

Upcoming Events

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

Lots of new classifieds!

Animals: Hundreds of animals for sale, from a variety of owners: Normande, Dutch Belted, Jersey, Holstien, Guernsey/Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn.
Check it out.

Forage & grains: Organic certified mixed grass hay; straw bales; organic round bales; organic high moisture shell corn ... Check it out.

Equipment: Looking for stanchions. Check it out.

OR, go to the classifieds main page.

Organic Dairy
Farmer Survey:
Help Us Understand Your Situation

Dear Fellow Organic Dairy Farmers—To help NODPA know your current situation and needs, and how we can better serve you, please fill out and return our survey. Results will be anonymous. Thanks!
Get a PDF version of the survey by clicking here. | email: