FARMINGTON, N.Y. — With the continuing drop in conventional milk prices, more and more dairy farmers are interested in transitioning to organic. To help make this happen, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is now taking applications for its Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project (ODCTP), thanks to sponsorship from the NY Farm Viability Institute.
Experienced NOFA-NY farmers will work directly with dairy farmers interested in organic certification. Farmers are encouraged to apply who need:
- guidance in evaluating their farm production practices
- to learn what changes may be necessary to comply with organic regulations
- assistance to complete their organic certification application process
Upon completion of this project, participating farmers will have a working knowledge of the organic industry, know how to manage their farm organically to meet certification standards, and be on their way to organic certification.
Speaking from program experience is Deb Windecker of Frankfort, NY. “This project helped us learn what it meant to be an organic dairy,” she said. “NOFA-NY staff was invaluable in connecting us to this part of the dairy industry, as well as providing practical advice on grazing plans and facility modifications.”
Farmers who participate will receive the following services from NOFA-NY:
- Registration for the Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference, March 16 and 17, 2017 at the Holiday Inn in Syracuse, NY. They will attend the ½ day transitioning workshop, meet the Organic Dairy Team, and have the opportunity to network with organic dairy farmers and industry professionals.
- On-farm site visit by an Organic Dairy Team member to discuss areas that may need to change to meet regulations, review certification information, and answer specific questions and provide information as needed.
- Attend/host on-farm Field Day to build a farmer network and address specific production area. Technical questions will be addressed by NOFA-NY staff, agricultural professionals, and expert farmers.
- Final meeting via skype/phone/on-farm with Organic Dairy Team member and consultant to address any problem/areas of concern for the farmer.
For additional information on the Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project and application form, visit www.nofany.org/dairytransitions. For questions, contact Bethany Wallis at (585) 271-1979 ext. 513 or email Bethany@nofany.org.
For more articles out of New York, click here.