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Organic Dairy: What’s Next? The 22nd Annual NODPA Field Days

grazing cows
Middlebury VT
VFW Post 7823, 530 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT 05753

For the first time in ten years, NODPA Field Days returns to Vermont. Have you made your travel plans yet? You don’t want to miss out on two farm tours, 7 different workshops especially pertinent to organic dairy farmers at this time of great change, a dynamic trade show, excellent food, and plenty of time to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. Even with COVID’s newest variant always in the background, we are planning a safe, healthy event and welcome you all.

While everyone across America seems to be impacted by the current high prices, supply side delays, and economic downturns, organic dairy farm families are even more impacted. Many farmers are asking how they can continue to feed grain with the astronomical price for it; they wonder what practices can be adjusted to keep their cows healthy without costing too much; and how do they figure out how to manage their farms based on the cost of production vs. what the current pay price is. It is, indeed, a challenging year, and we will be tackling these issues, and having some fun, at the 22nd Annual NODPA Field Days. Scroll down to see the full program and speaker bios; click on the brochure for all the details; and register today to take advantage of the Early Bird Special Rate until September 17th.

Click here for the Field Days Brochure


Register Here


Schedule: Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cows grazing at Severy Farm, Cornwall, VT
Severy Farm, Cornwall, VT

8:30 – 11:30 am Farm Tour: Severy Farm, 6039 Route 30, Cornwall, VT 05753

Noon – 1:00 pm Registration and Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 Best Nutrition Strategies at Times of High Grain and Input Costs

Sara Ziegler, Soils and Crops Coordinator, UVM Extension, Heather Darby, Agronomic and Soils Specialist and Extension Professor, UVM Extension, and Bill Kipp, Nutritionist and Dairy Consultant, Independent Dairy Consultants, Inc., Middlebury, VT

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45 – 4:00 Strategies for a Sustainable Pay Price for Organic Dairy - What could work: Supply Management? State & Federal Subsidies? Retail Subsidies? Producer Controlled Branded Product?

Panel Discussion with: Jim Goodman and Siena Chrisman, National Family Farm Coalition; Tade Sullivan (Maine Dairy Industry Association (MDIA), Dan Smith, New England Dairy Compact author; Sharad Mathur, DFA.

4:00 – 5:00 Organic Dairy Producers’ Contract Termination: How the Organic Dairy Community is responding: A review and update on the current developments and initiatives focused on this issue, including:

NY-NE Organic Dairy Consortium: NY-NE Organic Dairy Processing Plant – Daniel Moran

DBIC grant to NODPA and NOFA VT – Ed Maltby

Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership – Olga Moriarty (invited)

ALLPUR Nutrition Inc. Innovative Dairy Beverages – Mary Ann Clark, CEO

·5:00 – 6:00 Social Hour

6:00 – 7:30 Banquet and NODPA Annual Meeting

7:30 – 9:00 Keynote Presentation: “Now That I No Longer Milk Cows…” Views and perspective on organic dairy, the regenerative label, competition, and much more with Jim Goodman, Board President, National Family Farm Coalition and retired organic dairy farmer

9:00 Program ends

Schedule: Friday, September 30, 2022

Cows grazing in autumn
Harrison's Homegrown Organic Dairy, Addison, VT

6:30 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

7:00 – 9:00 Producer-Only Meeting

9:00 – 10:45 Cost of Production: How the numbers impact current and future organic dairy operations

Presenters: Jen Miller, Farmer Services Director, NOFA-VT, Sarah Flack, Independent Dairy Consultant and Author, Farmer Panel: Sebastien Latraverse, Spring Brook Farm, Westfield, VT, Kirk Arnold, Twin Oaks Dairy, Truxton, NY, and Sarah Boutin, Happy Cow Farm, Newport, VT (invited).

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – noon Ask the Vet: Come with all your cow care questions for this Q&A and Discussion

Presenters: Dayna Locitzer, DVM, Green Mountain Bovine Clinic, Chesterfield, NH and Elizabeth Martens, DVM, Valleywide Veterinary Services, Bridport, VT

12:00 – 1:15 Lunch and final announcements

1:15 – 1:30 Travel to Harrison’s Homegrown Organic Dairy Farm, 8180 Vermont Route 22a, Addison, VT 05491.

1:30 - Farm Tour: Harrison’s Homegrown Organic Dairy Farm, Melanie and Patrick Harrison

Keynote Presentation

Jim Goodman
Jim Goodman
“Now That I No Longer Milk Cows…” Views and perspective on organic dairy, the regenerative label, competition, and much more

JIM GOODMAN, National Family Farm Coalition Board President

Jim Goodman is a retired organic dairy farmer, board member of Family Farm Defenders, and board president of National Family Farm Coalition. He and his wife, Rebecca, ran a 45-cow organic dairy and direct-market beef farm in southwest Wisconsin for 40 years. His farming roots trace back to his great-grandparents immigration from Ireland during the famine and the farm's original purchase in 1848. A farm activist, Jim credits more years of failed farm, trade and social policy than he cares to think about as his motivation to advocate for a farmer-controlled, consumer-oriented food system.

Speaker Bios

VFW Post 7823, Middlebury VT
Workshop: Best Nutrition Strategies at Times of High Grain and Input Costs

SARA ZIEGLER

Sara Ziegler is a research specialist focused on perennial and annual forage production and pasture management with UVM Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Team. She works closely with farmers on developing and maintaining nutrient management plans and manages several research projects focused on organic and grass-fed dairy systems.

HEATHER DARBY

Dr. Heather Darby is an Agronomist and Soils Specialist with UVM Extension. She has worked collaboratively with organic dairy farmers over the last 19 years to develop and deliver relevant forage and soil research to the organic community.

BILL KIPP

Nutritionist and Dairy Consultant with Independent Dairy Consultants, Inc., Middlebury, VT

Workshop: Strategies for a Sustainable Pay Price for Organic Dairy

SHARAD MATHUR

Sharad Mathur worked for Dairy Marketing Services (DMS) and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA – Northeast Area) for over twenty years; recently retiring from his full time position as Chief Operating Officer; now serving part-time as Director, Operations and Projects, where he is involved in mentoring the younger generation and overseeing special projects.

Prior to DMS & DFA, Mr. Mathur worked at Parmalat for two years and had full responsibility of purchasing all raw milk for the company. Prior to Parmalat, he spent eighteen years with the Sunnydale Farms in Brooklyn, NY and rose to the position of Chief Financial Officer after holding a variety of positions in finance, procurement, and production. Earlier, he was part of the Team at Sunnydale Farms that created and marketed Natural By Nature Organic products.

JIM GOODMAN

Jim Goodman is a retired organic dairy farmer, board member of Family Farm Defenders, and board president of National Family Farm Coalition. He and his wife, Rebecca, ran a 45-cow organic dairy and direct-market beef farm in southwest Wisconsin for 40 years. His farming roots trace back to his great-grandparents immigration from Ireland during the famine and the farm's original purchase in 1848. A farm activist, Jim credits more years of failed farm, trade and social policy than he cares to think about as his motivation to advocate for a farmer-controlled, consumer-oriented food system.

SIENA CHRISMAN

Siena has been an advocate for family farmers for nearly 15 years,currently serving as the National Family Farm Coalition Communications Advisor. She is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications including Civil Eats, Modern Farmer, Edible Brooklyn, and has worked as a research consultant for Farm Aid, Real Food Challenge, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and other local and national farmer organizations.

TADE SULLIVAN

Theodore 'Tade' Sullivan, executive director of The Maine Dairy Industry Association (MDIA), is a recognized expert in the US Farm Bill, Renewable Energy, and Federal Crop Insurance. Tade has over 20 years’ experience in lobbying and public affairs, specializing in advocating for our nation’s farm families in private practice, agricultural trade associations, and government, and has been involved in the development of significant legislation on behalf our nation’s farmers, including portions of the US Farm Bill.

DAN SMITH

Dan Smith served as founding Executive Director of the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission, April 1996 through May, 1998, and served as the Commission’s Executive Director and General Counsel until the expiration of the Compact. He served as the lead staff person for the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact Committee, which oversaw the interstate adoption and Congressional approval of the Dairy Compact. He is a lawyer in private practice in Montpelier VT.

Workshop: Cost of Production: How the numbers impact current and future organic dairy operations

JEN MILLER

Jen Miller is the Farmer Services Director at NOFA-Vermont, and authors the annual Cost of Production on Vermont Organic Dairy Farms which is featured in the NODPA News each year.

SARAH FLACK

Sarah is an author, consultant, and speaker specializing in grass-based livestock farming systems. She is passionate about helping farmers find ways to be financially viable while caring for both their land and livestock. She lives on the farm she grew up on in Northern Vermont where she is surrounded by pastures, wetlands, forests, livestock and wildlife.

Farmer Panel:

KIRK ARNOLD, Twin Oaks Dairy, Truxton, NY and Co-president, NODPA Board

Kirk Arnold has been a partner in Twin Oaks Dairy LLC for 10 years and is the third generation on the farm. His focus on the farm is the cropping and the machinery side of the business along with farm and pasture infrastructure.

SEBASTIEN LATRAVERSE, Spring Brook Farm, Westfield, VT

Workshop: Ask the Vet

DAYNA LOCITZER, DVM

Dr. Dayna Locitzer has over 10 years’ experience working with pasture-based dairies in the Northeast. She currently works as a large animal veterinarian at Green Mountain Bovine Clinic in Chesterfield, N.H. and worked on organic dairy farms in New York’s Hudson Valley for 6 years before starting veterinary school.

ELIZABETH MARTENS, DVM

Dr. Martens grew up on an organic farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She attended Cornell University for her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and then went to Panama for 2 years as an agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps. She completed her Veterinary degree from Cornell in 2020 and has been working as a dairy veterinarian in Addison County ever since.

Farm Tour Hosts

Nate and Kerianne Severy, Severy Farm, LLC, Cornwall, VT
Nate and Kerianne Severy, Severy Farm, LLC, Cornwall, VT

Nate and Kerianne Severy own Severy Farm LLC, a 60-milking head 100% grass-fed organic dairy farm and Kings AgriSeeds seed dealership located in Cornwall VT. We strive to produce high quality products that nourish, protect, and enhance the people, animals, and ecosystem that we serve in a manner that is forward thinking and preserves the heritage, traditions, and history of our community. Milk is sold to both Organic Valley for fluid milk, and to Champlain Creamery for Artisanal Cheese. The Severy's recently bought the cattle and equipment from Nate's father and are working on the final details of buying 125 acres of the family's main farm where Nate grew up.

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Melanie and Patrick Harrison,
Harrison Homegrown Organic Dairy,
Addison, VT
Melanie and Patrick Harrison, of Harrison’s Homegrown Organic Dairy Farm, Addison VT

Vermont. Patrick and Melanie Harrison manage 900 acres of forages, milk 180 Jersey cows and raise 150 heifers in Addison, Vermont. Since transitioning to organic in 2012, their goal of producing high quality forages has meant focusing on building fertility and improving sward density and composition while managing compaction on their heavy clay soils of the Champlain Valley.

22nd Annual NODPA Field Days Sponsors and Supporters

NODPA thanks all of our sponsors and supporters for their ongoing support

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