NODPA E-Newsletter is delivered monthly to subscribers, and contains news and resources for organic dairy producers in the Northeast.
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Planning for Winter Feeding

Karen Hoffman, Resource Conservationist – Animal Science, USDA-NRCS, Norwich, NY

It is once again the time of year to begin thinking about winter feeding.  In most areas the pastures have either slowed significantly or completely stopped growing, and stored forage will need to be fed to cows for a few months.  A concern that some organic dairy farmers have expressed is the cost of organic grain, and those who are 100% grass-fed want to plan their forage inventories.  What can you do that will help keep the cost as low as possible, as well as keep cows healthy and productive through the winter? To read the complete article please go to:


Local Farms Fund: a New Farmland Investment Fund

Local Farms Fund (LFF) is a new farmland investment fund that supports young and early stage, sustainable farmers by providing secure land access. The fund’s goal is to provide lease-to-own land arrangements, with the option for the farmer to purchase the land from the fund after 5 years. LFF’s lease-to-own model provides essential land security to the farmer, while the farmer is developing his or her farm business. Recently, Sonja Heyck-Merlin, NODPA News contributing writer and Maine organic dairy farmer, interviewed Kevin Egolf, Co-Founder and Manager of the Local Farms Fund. To read his responses please go to:


NOFA-NY Announces New Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project

By Bethany Wallis, NOFA-NY Education Director
NOFA-NY Inc. announces a new program to help dairy farmers transition to organic management.  With the current downturn in conventional milk pricing, many farmers who have been on the fence about transitioning to organic management practices are now taking a good hard look at the organic marketing option as a way to increase farm income.  They are also evaluating an increase in marketing opportunities that organic processors are providing with new grass fed price premiums. This may be the largest transitioning group NOFA-NY has seen since farmers were trying to get in before the 1 year, 100% organic feed rule change.  For more details please go to:


Recent ODairy Discussions – November 2015

A cow freshened with a hot, hard quarter and a temperature of 105.6.  A vet on the list determined that this would be a coliform mastitis. 

Confirmed cases of lungworm in one producer’s herd sent him to the list looking for alternatives to the use of conventional parasiticides, which carries a 90-day withholding for milking animals. 

A farmer asked the group if there was an approved treatment to heal pneumonia scars in cattle that would calm chronic and occasional coughing. 

A long discussion about one sick cow led to some good discussion about Staph aureus. 

Cooler temperatures brought hordes of mice into one farmer’s barns.  There were the usual suggestions about adding more cats to the staff and putting down traps.  A vet recommended putting up nesting boxes for barn owls or sparrow hawks.  If they are native to your region, they can consume great quantities of mice. For all the detailed solutions please read the full article by NODPA President Liz Baldwin:


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.

Help USDA AMS decide if there is support for an Organic Check-Off – register your opposition now

NODPA, along with at least eight other organizations, submitted partial proposals to the USDA AMS on or before July 20th, 2015 on a proposal for an organic check-off. NODPA’s position in submitting the partial proposal was to ensure that there would be a democratic process in any decision on establishing an organic check-off, that all certificate holders would have a vote on such an important issue. OTA’s proposal would have limited voting rights to the largest one third of certified farmers. We do not know how USDA AMS will use the partial proposals and how they will be incorporated into the OTA proposal when they publish the proposal(s) to form an organic check-off on the Federal Register for public comment. Hopefully, USDA will recognize the importance of allowing all members of the “organic commodity” the right to vote on establishing an organic check-off.

NODPA is AGAINST ANY ORGANIC CHECK-OFF and will continue to organize against it, but OTA has purchased the right to submit a proposal so we need to ensure any process is democratic. USDA AMS has questioned the support for OTA proposal so please register your opposition to a check-off (if you haven’t already done so) by going to the No Organic Checkoff site or write directly to Ed Maltby, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.

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December 15, 2015

It’s Time for the Annual NODPA Fund Drive

We hope your NODPA Fund Drive letter arrived in November. Thanks to all who have generously responded. If you haven’t yet sent in your contribution, please take a moment to consider all the ways NODPA works for Organic Dairy farm families and those who support the industry, and send in your annual contribution today. If you already support NODPA through the monthly Milk Check Assignment or during NODPA’s Field Days, we say thanks!

Do you wonder how the events happening in Washington, whether in Congress or at the USDA, are impacting your organic dairy farm? NODPA is the only independent organic dairy farmer-controlled organization that represents your interests and can keep you informed of what is happening before it is too late to act. Are you wondering how to be informed of what the different processors are paying and what opportunities exist to sell your milk? Do you want to know and understand the current retail price for organic milk? Are you interested in learning new and successful animal health care methods, new production practices, and what other producers are doing? The NODPA News print edition, NODPA E-newsletter, and the NODPA website are full of the best and most up-to-date information.

NODPA provides a wide range of resources and services, such as hosting and moderating the ODairy listserv, publishing the print newsletter (NODPA News) 6-times per year, the monthly e-newsletter, managing the resource-rich website, organizing and hosting the annual NODPA Field Days, and providing advocacy on behalf of all organic dairy farm families through membership in the National Organic Coalition. Although we keep costs to a minimum but there are still bills to pay, and your generous support is needed.

“NODPA supporters are dedicated organic dairy farmers and industry professionals; hardworking, committed to the principles of organic farming and focused on operating their businesses in the most efficient and informed way possible,” said organic dairy producer and NODPA Board President Liz Bawden, “We work long hours and have come to expect reliable information delivered in the most convenient manner possible, and NODPA delivers! We know you depend on NODPA for the latest organic dairy news and education and that your support is a vote for the work we do.”

You can also donate online at
, said Nora Owens, NODPA Fundraising Campaign Coordinator, “And, if you have questions or need assistance, please give me a call at 413-772-0444 or email noraowens@
.” Your generous financial support will help NODPA continue to provide the valuable resources and services that you have come to depend on, so please take a moment and send in your pledge today.