cows in field

Let Them Eat Grass! NODPA’s Pasture Rule Resource Page

After many years of work and consensus building an Access to Pasture Final rule was released by the USDA on February 12, 2010. All certified organic dairy operations need to be in compliance with the new rule by June 17, 2011.

Certifier Resources and OSP Documents

Below are some resources provided by some accredited certifiers and organzations providing educational material. If you are a certifier or educator with helpful resources or record keeping forms that you would like to share, please send to:

To view all documents of listen items below please click here

  1. Vermont Organic Farmers (
    VOF DAIRY INFORMATION SHEET– new and continuing applicants
    VOF Grazing System Management Records - OPTIONAL - Where Are My Cows?

    Article: Improving Pasture Production & Quality
  2. Midwest Organic Services Association (
    MOSA Organic System Plan Addendum
  3. Documents from Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (
    MOFGA Pasture Rule Article
    MOFGA Feed Ration Changes
    MOFGA Feed Chart & Grazing Information
  4. Resources from the NOP Pasture Rule
    Website: (, click on 'Pasture Rulemaking Information)
    NOP Calculating DMI from Pasture
    NOP Pasture Worksheet for rotational stock grazing systems
    NOP Frequently asked questions, March 17, 2010

NOP Trainings/Resources:

  1. Dr. Kerry R. Smith's Pasture Rule Presentation, Part 1 (posted March 25, 2010)
    In a recent webinar, Dr. Kerry R. Smith of the USDA AMS National Organic Program, gave an overview of the main components of the Pasture Rule. Content includes a summary of the amendments, effective dates, general clarifications, Calculating Dry Matter Demand and Dry Matter Intake, living conditions and the Pasture Practice Standard.
  2. Dr Kerry R. Smith's Pasture Rule Presentation, Part 2 (posted May 14, 2010)
    Part 2 includes nutritional requirements of ruminant livestock, body condition scoring, the 'Whole Picture' (Producer role, Reviewer role, Inspector role and Certifier role) and case study examples sharing examples where a farm would be: 1) compliant, 2) insufficient OSP, not inspected, 3) non compliant and 4) gray zone.

Resources produced by NODPA, VOF, MOSES and USDA Agricultural Research Station:

  1. Moses Fact Sheet
  2. Day by Day Pasture Records Worksheet
  3. VOF Pasture Dry Matter Calculation Worksheet
  4. Dry Matter calculation by Kathy Soder, USDA ARS
  5. Walking Energy requirements by Kathy Soder, USDA ARS
  6. Pasture consumption calculation by Lisa McCrory

Other Related Resources:

  1. How’s and Why’s of the Pasture Ruleby Dave Johnson
  2. DMI Worksheet (excel sheet); template provided by Perry Clutts
  3. Pasture Rule Insights, By Lisa McCrory, November, 2010
  4. Access to Pasture Resources by Deb Heleba , September, 2010
  5. Interview with Richard Mathews, September, 2010
  6. Calculating DMI from Pastureby Harriet Behar and eOrganic Dairy Team
Historical Documentation:
  1. USDA press release on the Final Rule on Friday February 12, 2010.
  2. FOOD Farmers celebrates the release of the Final Rule.
  3. Thumbs Up on the Access to Pasture Final Rule from the National Organic Coalition.
  4. Pasture Rule Draws Bright Line Benefiting Cows & Consumers ... a commentary by Sam Fromartz
  5. Interview with Kathie Arnold about her farm and the Pasture Rule
  6. New NOP Pasture Regulation Meets Expectations of Organic Community, by Harriet Behar
  7. Federation of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers) Report Document following the 1st Summit Meeting of organic dairy producers and processors, June, 2007, in Boulder, Colorado.
  8. NODPA Pasture Rule Comments, Dec 23, 2008
  9. The National Organic Program has a good history of the pasture rule progress and all the documents, transcripts and comments. Click here to view it.
  10. CCOF Inspection Program: In mid-2008, CCOF instituted an unannounced inspection program focused on livestock operations. This was done to address concerns about pasture availability, grazing access and other concerns of non-compliance. You can see details of their program by clicking here. CCOF has been pouring resources into ensuring the ongoing compliance of all CCOF certified organic dairies to ensure fair competition in the marketplace.
  11. Pastureland Cooperative interviewed Ed Maltby on the proposed new pasture rule. To read the interview, go to: