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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | September 8, 2014

Rebecca and Jim Goodman at the farmers' market in Madison, Wisconsin

Northwood Farm, Wisconsin

Located about 80 miles Northwest of Madison, is Northwood Farm, an organic dairy and beef farm in the town of Wonewoc, Wisconsin. Owned and operated by Jim and Rebecca Goodman the farm consists of 450 acres of which 240 is owned and 210 is rented. Though organic milk is the primary income from the farm, they also sell organically raised beef, replacement dairy stock, dairy bulls for breeding stock, and some organic forages and grains. The beef they raise (12-15 steer every year) is marketed at the famous Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin. For more on Jim and Rebecca and their farming experiences please go to:


NODPA Field Days on the
25th and 26th of this month

In just a few weeks, NODPA’s 14th Annual Field Days and Annual Meeting will be taking place in Southwest New Hampshire at Stonewall Farm, near Keene. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to sign up and make your travel plans. At this year’s Field Days, Organic Dairy: Getting Down to Business, we are bringing together a rich array of national and regional leaders who will share their knowledge, ideas, business experience, and herd health practices that are essential for running a successful organic dairy business. The full program can be found at:


In addition to a strong educational program, industry and resource representatives will be on hand to share new products, ideas, and industry trends at our trade show. Many of the presenters are featured in this Enewsletter. If you want to ask questions in person and hear their perspectives then schedule some time to attend. The agenda is geared for an interactive experience with many of the leaders in organic policy, governance, business and cow heath care. To quote NODPA President Liz Bawden:

“We are very excited to have Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), Jean Richardson, Chair of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and Henry Perkins, President, Maine Organic Milk Producers and past NODPA President, share their thoughts on the future of organic dairy following our banquet and NODPA Annual Meeting.”

Interview with NOSB Chair,
Jean Richardson

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Jean Richardson join us at the 2014 NODPA Field Days this year. Jean has a wealth of skills and experience that made her a perfect choice to join the National Organic Standards Board in January 2012 in the ‘Public Interest’ slot. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a 15 member advisory board that helps set standards for the National Organic Program. In May, 2014, Jean was elected Chair of the NOSB. NODPA thought it would be nice for our readers to get to know Jean a little better. Read our interview with Jean and join us September 25th and 26th, at Stonewall Farm in Keene, NH, where you can meet her in person! Click here for the full interview:


Revoke Changes To Sunset Provision - Letter to the Congressional Organic Caucus from consumer cooperatives

The signatures to the letter are from both large and small coops across the country, representing many thousands of the most committed organic purchasers. These are the consumers that continued to purchase organic products during the economic downturn and can justifiably
be called the backbone of the USDA organic brand. The first paragraph says it all: “We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to ask you to advocate reversal of USDA’s unilateral changes to the organic program’s Sunset Provision. We believe these changes violate the intent and the letter of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).” NODPA welcomes and supports this initiative which is well written and clearly states the issues. To read the whole letter please download the PDF at: Dear Organic Caucus FINAL SIGN ON 090114.pdf

Preventive Practices To Maintain
Animal Health

NODPA is excited to have Dr. Cynthia Lankenau as part of our 2014 NODPA Field Days this year. An internationally recognized practitioner of Veterinary Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Chiropractics, Dr Lankenau has a Holistic veterinary practice, servicing large and small animals, in Colden, New York. She received her education from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1981, has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 33 years and Holistic medicine for 21 years. Dr. Lankenau is a firm believer in preventive practices for maintaining healthy animals. To read her interview with Lisa McCrory, NODPA News editor, please go to:


“What I’ve learned from farmers using zero-grain dairy rations”

Sarah Flack, Organic & Grass-Based Livestock Consultant, will be sharing her knowledge and experience at the NODPA Field Days on what she has learned from producers that use zero-grain rations. With increased demand for milk that qualifies to be sold as “grass-fed”, many producers are looking at the economic advantages and production challenges that marketing under this label requires. Other farms have made the transition to zero-grain more rapidly, due to financial pressures caused by high grain costs and in some situations, due to unpaid grain bills. There are also a number of farms that transitioned to zero-grain 7 to 10 years ago, and continue to find it works well for them.  Sarah has written an article that puts together a couple of decades of ideas, suggestions and observations from farms that have tried zero-grain dairy rations. To read the article, please go to:


Tackling Farm Entry and Exit Challenges

“Farm entry and exit are flip sides of the same coin. We need to pay attention to both, and solutions for one side of the coin can offer solutions to the other.” This is howKathy Ruhf sums up the challenges of generational transfer and providing qualified producers to continue to farm. Kathy is the executive director of Land For Good, where she has worked since 2004. Prior to that she directed the New England Small Farm Institute for 17 years. Kathy has written, consulted and taught about farmland and beginning farmer issues for 25 years. She also served as the coordinator of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group from 1992-2012, where she specialized in regional food systems and public policy. Kathy Ruhf will share her many years of experience in providing practical solutions to complex and emotional challenges as the pioneers of organic agricultural production retire or transition to doing less work as a speaker at the NODPA Field Days. To read Kathy’s article on the subject, please go to:


Feed and Pay Price Update

In the Northeast, competition for milk supply is increasing with expansion plans by Upstate Niagara and Stonyfield, both looking for producers in certain geographic areas, and the national brands working to keep their producers by offering small incentives on pay price. Producers are in a stronger position to advocate for a higher pay price as they renew contracts or talk with their cooperative about the annual decisions around increase in member compensation. There is also an increase in demand for producers who qualify for the grass fed label as CROPP expands its available routes for producers. The conventional pay price is still high, the beef cull price has shown no sign of dropping, and conventional feed is cheap so there is no economic incentive to transition unless there is the promise of a future higher pay price for organic. With an average growth rate of 7-8% a year in fluid sales and increasing demand for organic dairy in manufactured product, now would be the time for organic buyers to schedule higher pay prices for the next few years as, with higher profits for conventional producers, it makes it easier to transition to organic production as the cost of transition would be less than with weak conventional prices. For a more complete article please go to:


-- Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director  


SAVE THE DATE: NODPA 2014 Field Days

The 14th Annual NODPA Field Days will be on Thursday and Friday September 25 & 26, 2014 at Stonewall Farm, in Keene, New Hampshire. Stonewall Farm is centrally located in Southwest New Hampshire, not far from Brattleboro, VT and Keene, NH. The farm is an educational farm that has an organic dairy, micro-milk processing facility, on-site hydroponic barley fodder operation, cheese and yogurt making capacity, farm store, CSA, and educational programing, and they are experimenting with growing canola for biodiesel as well as creating a small grains cooperative where they share combine harvesting equipment.

For more details, click here.

Feed and Pay Price Update

In the Northeast, competition for milk supply is increasing with expansion plans by Upstate Niagara and Stonyfield, both looking for producers in certain geographic areas, and the national brands working to keep their producers by offering small incentives on pay price. Producers are in a stronger position to advocate for a higher pay price as they renew contracts or talk with their cooperative about the annual decisions around increase in member compensation. For details:


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