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2015 NODPA Field Days,
October 1 & 2, 2015, Pavilion NY:

Organic Dairy: Preparing for the Next Generation

Western New York will play host to the 15th Annual NODPA Field Days on October 1st and 2nd, in Pavilion NY, an active farming community south of Rochester, NY. This year, we tackle the critically important topic of how to attract and retain the next generation of organic dairy producers.  It’s time to figure out how to adapt the farm to the changing needs of our children and grandchildren if we hope to keep organic dairy alive in the United States. The NODPA Field Days program will explore the current obstacles and opportunities for the next generation of organic dairy farmers, and will present success stories where family farms are adopting new and creative practices for the 21st century, and will hear from young farmers who will inform the discussion.

The next generation won’t be the only topic on the program; we will get an update on the grass-fed milk trend; have an extended, on-farm workshop on cow comfort; and will hear about robotic milking in the Netherlands, where it all began. We are excited to announce that Liana Hoodes, the founding director of the National Organic Coalition will be NODPA Field Days’ keynote speaker. She will share her experiences and observations about the future of the Organic brand, and following her presentation, everyone will have a chance to jump into the conversation during a discussion facilitated by Fay Benson, that we are calling Working Together for a Sustainable Organic Dairy Future.

This year, we wrap up Field Days with a special event. The New York Organic Dairy Initiative will host a cookout at the nearby Letchworth State Park, often called The Grand Canyon of the East, to conclude this year’s NODPA meeting. It’s a beautiful time of year to view the magnificent falls of the Genesee River.

Read more . . .
Download brochure . . .

Origin of Livestock
Comments to USDA NOP
NODPA’s comment was filed before the deadline of July 27 and reflected the long held beliefs of producers about the need to maintain the integrity of the organic seal and reward those producers that have been following the intent of the regulations for the past ten years. To read those comments please go to:

Origin of livestock comments 7.18.15.pdf

Organic Checkoff Partial Proposal

NODPA advocated to the USDA for the opportunity to present alternative ideas on a checkoff program and the USDA granted that request without asking for any bond money because they were not convinced that the OTA proposal reflects the views of the organic community. OTA’s money and resources have given them the opportunity to submit a proposal for an organic checkoff, and their proposal limits who can vote to establish one. NODPA’s proposal goes to a basic equality issue that every certificate holder should have one vote in any decision to form an organic checkoff. This was submitted to USDA on July 18th. To read the partial proposal please go to:

OrganicCheckoffPartialProposal NODPA final 7.18.15.pdf

Cow Comfort:
The Big Picture

“Ever since we domesticated cattle they have had to adapt to environments designed by man often without their needs and preferences in mind. Even pasture-based systems in dairy do not completely mimic the conditions and social interactions found in the natural state. The fairly recent awakening to cow comfort and well-being by the dairy industry has been driven by both public opinion and university research. This is as much an economic pursuit as it is a movement towards better conditions for animals per se.”  Read the full article from Jerry Bertoldo, DVM, Dairy Specialist on the North West New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Genesee County and come to hear him speak at the NODPA Field Days.

Management of Perennial Pastures in the Summer: Do Not Overgraze. No matter how slow the regrowth.

"In the transition zone, the hot, dry summer months are a critical time to ensure that appropriate pasture management is utilized. Although it seems to happen too fast, in a short while many areas will begin to leave spring behind and move into summer. As air and soil temperatures increase, and rainfall becomes sparse, our cool season perennials recover from grazing much more slowly. The severity of the summer as well as the degree of rainfall will determine how quickly the stands recover. While the summer may be cool and moist (not likely), we should still approach the warm season prepared for slower pasture regrowth and summer dormancy.”

Read the full article by Joshua Baker, Marketing Manager/Southern Region Coordinator, Kings AgriSeeds, Inc.

Nodpa E-News
August 18, 2015

Regional Roundup from Organic Dairy Farm Families

From Maine to Virginia, New York to Pennsylvania organic dairy farm families report back on their late spring and early summer farming progress in the differing climatic conditions that prevail in the northeast. With the increases in pay price and the continued short supply, this may turn out to be a better year than the last few, with feed prices remaining steady.

Read more >

Odairy Summary

“A farmer asked the group for some suggestions about a 6-year old cow he called a “hard keeper’.  She is thin, has a rough hair coat, and has had loose, dark manure all her life.  The farmer has tested her for Johnes’ disease and worms.” 
“One producer had shipping fever trouble.  New cows were brought into a herd, and one cow died from pneumonia within 10 days.  The producer asked what course of action to take to prevent more illness.” 
“Looking for suggestions for an electric fence energizer, a farmer asked the group for suggestions.  Two producers highly recommended the Cyclops fencers; another recommended the Stafix 15 joule fencer.”
“An udder sore appeared between the front quarters of a fresh cow.  The farmer asked what the best course of treatment would be.” 
“A farmer with triticale fields asked why about 10% of the grain head stems are a foot or so taller than the rest.”
These are all questions that were posted on the ODairy list serve over the last couple of months. To read about some of the answers that were generated, please go to the summary that Liz Bawden has written.

Join Odairy

The ODairy email list serve hosts robust discussions on many different issues, some practical, some on policy, some on politics and some just exchanging news on the organic community. ODairy is blessed by having so many committed veterinarians experienced in organic production who take an active part in the discussions on the list serve. There is no one way to solve a health problem in organic production.  Also, Odairy is a great place to advertise animals for sale and organic feed that is available.

To join the active and informative email list serv, or to visit ODairy's archive, clicking here.

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