For the past 22 years, NODPA has moved the Field Days to different regions and states each year in order to reach as many organic dairy farm families as possible, especially when traveling long distances isn’t possible. So this year, we are excited to return to Vermont for the first time in ten years.
Last summer, the world of organic dairy in the northeast changed dramatically for all organic dairy farm families. Horizon ended 89 contracts and Maple Hill producers received notification of contract termination and then again notice that their contracts were not canceled. NODPA along with the regional NOFA’s and MOFGA, plus intense activity by the different States, were able to spotlight the devastation of these actions. A year later we will be looking at what has happened, what initiatives are being proposed and the future of organic dairy in the northeast.
This panel will be looking at the various practical work that is being done and will include presenters on the following: NY-NE Organic Dairy Consortium: NY-NE Organic Dairy Processing Plant, DBIC grant to NODPA and NOFA VT to look at the viability of a regional label and marketing to institutions, the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, and more. Presenters will update attendees on the progress they have made in the promotion of organic family farms in the northeast; the Dairy Business Innovation Center (DBIC) will present the progress they have made with their rapid response to the organic dairy crises and their plans for the future; plus whatever else has developed in the next few months.
Another panel will focus at what policies can be proposed that will stabilize the supply side of organic dairy, by looking at Initiatives for Supply Management, Organic Dairy Compact for the Northeast, and the Maine Tier Program, plus proposals in the Farm Bill, and will be asking: What could work for organic?
Thursday morning’s farm tour will be to Severy Farm a grass-based organic dairy located in Cornwall, VT that is owned and operated by Nate Severy and his wife and two young children. Nate and his father formed an LLC in 2017, with Nate assuming full ownership of the farm business in 2021. You can learn more about Severy Farm when it’s the featured farm in the July NODPA News. The second farm tour will be Friday afternoon at Harrison’s Homegrown Organic Dairy in nearby Addison VT. Patrick was a panelist at the 21st NODPA Field Days in Freeport, Maine, and the Harrison’s were the featured farm in the November 2021 NODPA News. Melanie and Patrick Harrison are well known and respected for the forage management strategies, as well as many other innovative practices. Both farm tours promise to be interesting and educational for all that attend.
The 22nd NODPA Field Days will feature excellent food, a comfortable and convenient location, a trade show with knowledgeable organization representatives, and many opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones.