cows in field

Message from the NODPA Co-President

By Liz Bawden, NODPA Board Co-President

Many of you will have seen the jokes on social media that start off with “If 2020 was an ice cream flavor”… and a picture shows an ice cream cone stacked with flavors like liver and onions or liquid manure. It sure has been a wild year, one that we are all happy to put behind us. The whole fabric of our communities has changed due to concerns about the virus – kids learning from home, summer fairs all cancelled, many churches closed, farm meetings became virtual, elderly friends and relatives are isolated. We avoid crowded situations; weddings are small, funerals smaller. Our hearts are heavy for those that have lost loved ones.

But it has brought some positive changes into our lives as we grapple with keeping our communities safe while keeping businesses open. We all have become mindful of the most important things, thankful for our friends and families. For many of us who sell products directly, our farms have been sought out by consumers looking for local, organic food as grocery supply chains were interrupted. According to the indicators, organic dairy sales remain strong. As more people are eating at home, there is a greater demand for high quality food from both grocery stores and farms.

My computer’s inbox these days is full of great learning opportunities as farm meetings become Zoom webinars and conferences from all over the world are now accessible at a fraction of their usual cost. For dairy farmers tied to the daily routine of milking and chores, this opens up our world considerably!

As we turn toward a new year, I hope you will consider supporting NODPA in the work that we do. By now you will have received the Annual Fund Drive letter in the mail. Your continuing support in the form of a membership allows us to continue to bring you this newsletter in print and electronically; it will continue to help us advocate for organic dairy farmers across the country, locally and in Washington, D.C.; and it will support the Odairy Listserv and NODPA’s website. We ask you for $50, and hope that you find value in that. And our hat is off to those who choose a higher level of support. Your support is critical, especially this year.

From all of us at NODPA, we wish you the Blessings of the Season and a healthy and prosperous New Year!