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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | September 2008
Assault on Organic Standards?

From Colorado to Washington DC to Italy, the debate about the integrity of an organic seal, and who will protect both its premium in the marketplace and the economic sustainability of the organic farmer, has been going on, sometimes encouraged and sometimes deliberately muted.

Must we allow a continuous weakening of standards? Must we accept differing interpretations of the organic certification rules; poor enforcement by the USDA; and an industry that is divided when it comes to self-regulation? Will this debate be allowed to move forward or are there many forces that are deliberately working to avoid addressing the underlying dysfunction of the program because of self-interest and market advantage?

Many have attempted to divert the discussion to questions about organic or sustainable production methods, social justice or world poverty, or the inevitable discussion around defining a family farm. It’s time to move out of our comfort zones and work together on solutions that involve all levels of the food chain: supply, manufacturing, distribution, retailing and consumption. Continually re-stating the problem to our own individual sector of the community is not the answer.

Organic dairy farmers stand ready to go anywhere to accomplish this task as they are faced with bankruptcy, loss of health insurance and a deaf ear from their processing partners. Perhaps it’s time to follow the French and Germans and start to dump milk …… but more constructively, for producers to come together at the upcoming Field Days and work together for a positive solution.

Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

News, Stories & Events

Forgues Family Farm: Early Leaders in Organic
Travis Forgues (pictured above with his wife Amy) and his father Henry transitioned to organic in 1997. Looking for markets for their milk in 1999, they pushed for a NE dairy producers summit that birthed NODPA. Learn more about their story and their operation.

NODPA's 1st SE Regional Field Days
Thursday, September 18, 2008, 9:30 am to 3 pm

Arden Landis and his wife Caroline will host NODPA’s first Southeast Regional Field Day at their Green Pastures Farm at 667 Puseyville Road, Kirkwood, PA 17536. The Landis’ have been farming their 115 grazeable acres since 1995 and currently have 100 milking cows that are milked through a 16 unit swing parlor that they installed in 2000. In 1995, they started the organic certification process and have been shipping organic milk to Horizon Organic since July, 1999. At noon, there will be a locally produced organic barbequed organic chicken meal followed by a producer roundtable.

There will be no charge to dairy producers who pre-register by Monday, September 15th with a $10 charge at the door for those dairy producers that do not pre-register. Those wishing to attend can call NODPA’s toll-free number to pre-register: 1-888-308-9706.
Click here for more details.

NY Field Days: NODPA’s 8th Annual Field Days Event and Annual Producer Meeting
From 5 pm Sunday, October 26th, to noon, Tuesday October 28th Holiday Inn - Auburn, 75 North Street, Auburn, NY 13021 (Finger Lakes Region)

Threat or opportunity? Hear Clark Driftmier speak about the future of store brand organic milk and the need for unity in the organic milk community; discuss issues with organic dairy producer from across the country; visit Lakeview Farm; take part in the NODPA annual meeting and producer only meeting and discuss issues critical to the future survival of organic dairy producers, plus visit the trade show, socialize and more.

Learn more about the Field Days.
Ready to register now? Click here to register online.

The Latest East & Midwest Organic
Grain & Hay Prices

Flood, drought, hurricane, ethanol, high world prices – any wonder it’s difficult to keep up with how much your winter feed will cost. At NODPA we at least try to keep you informed. Click here for more.

Cow Share University
The Farm-to-Consumer Foundation is offering a unique educational tele-seminar series -- Cow-Share College and Goat-Share University -- a series of three classes that cover setting up, maintaining and upgrading a cow- or goat-share operation. Timely & Convenient: The series of three classes is repeated monthly and starts in September. Classes are conducted via telephone conference call. All classes are held on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (EDT). Learn more about this opportunity.


Organic Dairy Farmer Survey: Help Us Understand Your Situation

Dear Fellow Organic Dairy Farmers—To help NODPA know your current situation and needs and get feedback on how we can better serve you, please fill out and return our new survey. Results will be kept anonymous. Thanks!

Get a PDF version of the survey by clicking here.

September NODPA News Now Available Online for Members

Members now have the ability to go to a secure page and download a PDF copy of the most recent NODPA News. Click here to learn more.

Register for Field Days Onine!

You can now register and pay online for NODPA's Annual Field Days, coming up in late October. Click here to go to the registration page.

Fall Events
Something for everyone this fall, from pasture walks to grazing workshops to field days to a variety of organic dairy and livestock conferences!
Click here for details.

Recent ODairy Discussions
Topics recently ranged from how to wrap rained-on forages to what kinds of tests for cows before purchase. MORE >

Lots of new classifieds!
Animals for Sale: For sale: 10 open or short bred Jersey heifers, organic grazing herd in Vermont. Certified Organic Registered Jersey and Registered Ayrshire cows for sale. Herd of 60 Holstein/Jersey crosses for sale. 19 heifers; 6 fresh and 13 bred, due in October. Organic Dairy Herd for Sale: 46 cows: Holsteins, Holstein/Jersey crosses, Brown Swiss crosses. Employment: Second year farm/garden apprentice seeking work on a VT/NH dairy farm. Someone with 3 years' experience looking for work on a dairy farm. Farm hand/milker needed immediately in Maine. Grains and Forage for Sale: Organic Hay: Certified organic dry hay for sale 1st cut, 2nd cut available. First and Second Cutting Grass Hay in small square or large roud bales. Hay: Certified Organic. Second cutting. Round bales 700-800lbs each. High quality baleage for sale. Equipment: Large capacity electric butterchurn. 40 liter (10 US gallons). Real Estate: 58 acre farm and farm house in south central NY. Abetoir for sale in Ontario. Or, go to the classifieds home page. | email: