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The 13th Annual NODPA Field Days and Annual Meeting September 26 & 27, 2013
Mansfield, PA

By Nora Owens, NODPA event coordinator

Register now for the conference >

Added June 13, 2013.

NODPA’s 13th annual Field Days’ program, Organic Dairy: Innovative Strategies to Stay Profitable is just around the corner and promises to have a farm tour and educational sessions that will interest everyone. This year’s event takes place in North Central Pennsylvania on Thursday and Friday, September 26th and 27th at the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall in Mansfield, PA.

This year’s educational program (for full details, see the schedule), in collaboration with Holistic Management International, is full of innovative ideas, current research and practical strategies so organic dairy farm families can enhance the health, productivity and profitability of their land and family while effectively and significantly increasing annual profits.

Based on HMI’s Whole Farm/Ranch Planning Programs, Thursday’s educational program begins in the morning at Kress and Tammy Simpson’s KTS Farm, Mansfield PA, where HMI Educators will lead the farm tour and present educational, on-farm workshops on forage assessment, grazing strategies and land and infrastructure planning.  At noon, we move to the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall for lunch and afternoon workshops based on HMI’s Planning for your Farm’s Future, which will focus, in part, on successful strategies for succession planning for the farm and business, with Kress Simpson sharing his farm’s succession plan experience.
Friday’s educational program will be filled with the most up-to-date information on a variety of topics. In the morning, Andrew Dykstra, Roman Stoltzfoos and John Stoltzfus will share their experiences with on-farm sprouted grain experimentation. Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director, will bring everyone up to steam on current policy, the Farm Bill and other activities in Washington DC that directly impact organic dairy farm families. And to close out the morning sessions, we will bring the Odairy experience of sharing knowledge and expertise to life with a session entitled “Ask the Vet” where nationally known veterinarians Susan Beal, DVM and A.J. Luft, DVM, along with a room full of experienced dairy producers, will spend 90 minutes answering questions, offering advice and sharing their best practices. 

The afternoon session will focus on multi-species cover crops, also known as crop cocktails, will feature the expertise of Dave Wilson from King’s AgriSeed, Jeff Moyer from the Rodale Institute, and Charlie White, Penn State Extension.

This year, we are honored to have a pioneer of Organic Dairy and past NOSB member Kevin Engelbert as our keynote speaker following Thursday evening’s Pig Roast banquet and NODPA Annual Meeting. Kevin will discuss the future of Organic Dairy and we have set aside plenty of time for Q & A and discussion following his presentation.

In addition to the NODPA Field Days educational program, we will have our regularly scheduled events, too. Social Hour will follow Thursday’s workshops, during which attendees can visit the very full Trade Show and talk to the many businesses and service providers that are integral to organic dairy farm families. The banquet, which follows, will feature a Pig Roast with the organic pig coming to us from NODPA Vice President and Board member Dave Johnson’s farm.  On Friday morning, there will be the annual Producer-Only Meeting, and this year Henry Perkins, past NODPA president, will facilitate. 

And last but not least, we will have our famous door prize drawing during Friday’s lunch at which everyone gets a chance to win a wide variety of prizes generously donated by our sponsors, supporters and trade show participants.

Perhaps the most important feature of NODPA’s Annual Field Days is the opportunity to gather with your fellow organic dairy farm families to share information, knowledge, your past year’s experiences and maybe some gossip. As always, there will be plenty of time for visiting with new and old friends, sharing delicious meals and gathering a few new tips and tools to take back to the farm.

If you have questions or need assistance with anything related to this event, please contact the NODPA Field Days Coordinator, Nora Owens, by email, or phone, 413-772-0444.

A full brochure, complete details about the program, and a list of sponsors and trade show participants will be available by August 1st, but for now, please click below to register, review the available information about the program, and learn more about ad, sponsorship and tradeshow opportunities.