The Northeast Dairy Producers Association is an organization of dairy producers and industry partners committed to an economically viable, consumer-conscious dairy industry dedicated to the care and well-being of our communities, our environment, our employees and our cows.
This Mission is to be accomplished by:
- the free exchange of ideas among dairy producers through producer meetings, tours, and publications,
- providing a leadership role and financial support for solving industry issues,
- developing and supporting programs that encourage young people to establish careers in the dairy industry,
- using a unified voice to take assertive stands on sensitive issues as we work with government to formulate policy and ensure the best business climate in the Northeast.
NEDPA was established in 1993 to give Northeast dairy producers a united voice in pending environmental regulations on the horizon at that time. Environmental laws and permits that regulate CAFOs continue to be a priority focus of NEDPA. However, the organization has broadened its focus to include other important issues that have emerged on the dairy horizon, as well as helping member farms with specific regulatory and compliance challenges on their own farms.
NEDPA member farms range in size from 100 cows to over 5,000. All totalled, they represent over 207,000 cows and a major economic impact. These numbers command attention and NEDPA’s leadership on issues has influenced outcomes and earned the respect of legislators, decision-makers and government agencies.
NEDPA is represented on the NYS CAFO Workgroup, NYS OSHA Workgroup, Agriculture Workforce Development Council, Animal Well-Being Workgroup, Dairy Issues Team, and was part of the Governor’s Strategic Interagency Task Force on Lessening Obstacles to Agriculture (SILO) in 2015. NEDPA continues to be actively involved in representing dairy producers’ interests in FOIL, immigration, Department of Labor, environmental and Farm Bill issues. In 2015, NEDPA initiated the formation of the Animal Well-Being Workgroup and the Agriculture Workforce Development Coalition, both have representation of all segments of the industry and each has the mission to positively and proactively promote the industry’s dedication to the care and treatment of animals and workers on farms.
NEDPA is a resource for members, providing . . .
- Timely e-mail alerts on important issues
- Quarterly newsletters providing valuable updates, information and guidance on issues
- Support and information through webinars, programs and tours
- Financial contributions to Cornell PRO-DAIRY and NY Animal Agriculture Coalition
- Member snail-mail and email newsletters provide valuable updates, information and guidance on issues
- A dynamic biennial two-day conference held in partnership with Cornell PRO-DAIRY
- As part of the “Issues Team” provide public relations advice and support to members facing a regulatory compliance issue or activist issue
- An agreement with Michael Best law firm for legal assistance as necessary, including a no-cost 30 minute consultation for NEDPA members on any legal issue
NEDPA works closely with other agricultural and business organizations to collaborate on common interests and issues. A few examples:
• Initiated the formation of the Animal Well-Being Workgroup, composed of farmers, milk cooperatives, NYAAC, NYFB, ADADC and other industry partners.
• Initiated the formation of the Agriculture Workforce Development Coalition in response to interpreting and complying with labor laws and regulations.
• Partnered with NYCAMH, NYFB and PRO-DAIRY in “roadshow” to help farms prepare for OSHA Dairy LEP. NEDPA participates in a monthly conference call with OSHA.
• Following an increased number of manure run-off issues in the Spring of 2014, worked with industry partners and NYDEC to hold educational meetings across the state.
• Collaborated with like-minded dairy organizations from other states to successfully remove the proposed dairy supply management program from the 2014 Farm Bill.
• Established relationship and dialog with Dept. of Homeland Security and ICE on immigration enforcement activity.
• Became a member of the American Dairy Coalition to join forces with other dairy organizations in order to have a stronger voice in Washington on immigration, GMOs and other national issues.
• Collaborate with the state’s vegetable, horticulture, and apple industries on issues that impact all agricultural commodities.
Perhaps the most valuable asset NEDPA offers is the members themselves–progressive, forward-looking, like-minded dairy producers and industry professionals who are enthusiastic about the dairy industry and its future. NEDPA programs and conferences provide opportunities to interact with this valuable network to share ideas, ask questions and debate issues.