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Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance

Featured Farm: Practice Makes Progress at Prime Pastures Organic Dairy Farm, Lewiston, MN. Owned and operated by the Pangrac and Olson Families

Featured Farm: Practice Makes Progress at Prime Pastures Organic Dairy Farm, Lewiston, MN. Owned and operated by the Pangrac and Olson Families

By Tamara Scully, NODPA News contributing writer

It’s all about family at Prime Pasture’s Organic Dairy Farm, located near Lewiston, Minnesota. The farm belongs to the Pangrac and Olson families. Carmene and Dale Pangrac purchased the farm in 1979. Their daughter Kim and her husband Andrew Olson joined the farm in 2005. With all four working full-time on the farm, and the Olson’s three young children - ages 17, 14, and 12 - pitching in when needed, and with no current other employees, the operation is a true family affair.

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posted to Featured Farms on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

Save the Date for the 24th Annual NODPA Field Days: Securing the Future of Your Farm

Save the Date for the 24th Annual NODPA Field Days: Securing the Future of Your Farm

Nichols Volunteer Fire Department Hall, 106 W. River Rd, Nichols, NY 13812, September 26 & 27, 2024

Not always the easiest conversation to have around the dinner table, but certainly an important one, is about planning for the future of your farm. Will you be able to transfer ownership to the next generation in your family? If the next generation doesn’t plan to remain in farming, who will take over? Will you want to preserve your land so it stays in agriculture? There are so many questions, so we are planning an educational program to assist you in this process, even if you are just beginning to consider your future. We will feature families that have completed the process; ones in the beginning stages; and some in the absolute middle of it. They will describe their experiences and provide insights into the ‘team’ of peers, professionals, legal advisers, accountants, and more, that have been most helpful to their success. We will look at transfers that haven’t worked out, and learn from those experiences, too. Not all farm transfers are between family members these days, and we will have farmers that can describe their experiences and offer advice for a successful non-family transfer.

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posted to Field Days on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

From the NODPA Desk

From the NODPA Desk

By Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

After a few days in Washington DC, I was left with very mixed emotions. The NODPA’s primary reason to be in DC this year is to represent the important concerns of organic dairy farmers to legislators, their aides, USDA officials and members of the organizations participating in this Organic Farmers Association (OFA) event. The Hill meetings followed a similar pattern to last year; OFA Farm Bill priorities had not changed, and legislators’ aides and the USDA came up with the same reasons as last year, for not having money to support new programs. But the lack of a Farm Bill meant there was a plethora of marker bills to present to legislators’ offices. The dysfunction of the House gave us an opportunity to immediately include requests for additions to 2025 appropriations. Influencing federal programs is slow, with change coming after a disaster or too late for all but large-scale organic Ag. Luckily, we have repeated disasters!

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posted to Industry News on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

Introduction to Liz Bawden, the NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year, at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference, Syracuse, NY on January 20, 2024

Introduction to Liz Bawden, the NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year, at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference, Syracuse, NY on January 20, 2024

By Mary-Howell Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain, Penn Yan, NY

I have the pleasure of introducing Liz Bawden, long-time organic dairy farmer from Hammond, NY as the NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year. A native of Springfield, MA, Liz is not from a farming background. She worked throughout the US and Canada as an interpretive naturalist until she and her husband, Brian, bought a dairy farm in Hammond in 1999. They were first certified organic with NOFA-NY in 2000. Currently, they are 100% grass-fed, shipping milk to Maple Hill, and farming 1000 acres, milking 100 cows. Their adult son, Nathan is in the process of taking over management of the farm.

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posted to Industry News on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

Liz Bawden, NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year Address, January 20, 2024

Liz Bawden, NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year Address, January 20, 2024

By Liz Bawden, NODPA Board member and Past President and Co-President

I am so grateful, and humbled, and quite frankly, stunned to receive this award. I find myself thinking of some of the great farmers that have done exciting, new and thoughtful things who have graced this platform at previous Winter Conferences and in other conferences like this. I know how much I learned from those early movers and shakers in organic farming and I am so grateful for the farmers in this sharing community that helped us all learn and grow to be better stewards of the land and caretakers of our animal partners. I sure don’t feel like I measure up to some of these folks, but I will try and give you an idea of how we got here and what we learned along the way.

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posted to Industry News on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

Ask the Vet Column: 2023 was a bad year for forages, what should I be looking out for when feeding stored feeds?

Ask the Vet Column: 2023 was a bad year for forages, what should I be looking out for when feeding stored feeds?

By Dayna Locitzer, DVM

Last year’s forage year in the Northeast brought many challenges. You might have been able to hit a sweet spot if you completed first cut in late May, but for many that was not possible and you were then stuck with two months of wet weather. This led to a few common problems when making baleage: Baleage that was wrapped too wet, first cut hay that was cut too late, and baleage made from grass covered in silt from the flooding. Now, I am not a nutritionist but I do know that I have seen serious health issues caused by the above mentioned problem bales.

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posted to Organic Production on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

Organic Dairy Farmers go to Washington, DC

Organic Dairy Farmers go to Washington, DC

By Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

An important part of the NODPA work is to represent organic dairy interests to Congress and the USDA. The interests of large-scale organic manufacturing, processing and corporate farms are well represented by the Organic Trade Association and large organic certifiers like California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). While this is usually a thankless task and one is hit hard by the dysfunctional nature of the federal government and bureaucracy, the Hill Days facilitated by Organic Farmers Association (OFA) and the National Organic Coalition (NOC) provide a coordinated presence that is designed to improve relationships and provide a face and a story to the need for regulation, legislation and parity in USDA services.

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posted to Policy in the News on Fri, Mar 29, 2024

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