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October 28, 2011

Just a reminder that we’ve moved this whole thing over to Facebook (Purdue Organic and Alternative Livestock Production).

Turkey and Duck Production

September 1, 2011

Getting started in turkeys or ducks? Check out this video.

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April 7, 2011

Like us on Facebook and you will get all of the latest updates.

Search: Purdue Organic and Alternative Livestock Production Systems.

California still #1 in organic agriculture

April 7, 2011

from: University of California–Davis

“California leads the nation with the highest number of organic farms, land in organic production, and organic
sales. Two-thirds of organic sales in California are from produce, onefourth from livestock, and the remainder from field crops. The vast majority of organic farmers in California plan to increase or maintain their current levels of organic production.”

See the full report HERE.

Online courses in organic agriculture from Washington State University

February 5, 2011

“Students who complete the organic agriculture certificate will be well-prepared to work on or develop their own organic farm. The organic agriculture certificate also prepares students for employment opportunities with non-profit organizations and government agencies involved in environmental and food safety, as well as private sector food processing, marketing, organic certification, and product development industries.”

More information HERE.

Organic dairy production resources from eXtension

February 4, 2011


Topics include:

Access to Pasture Rule
Introduction to Organic Dairy Farming
Transition to Organic Dairy
Organic Dairy Certification: Why, How, and What?
Organic Dairy Cropping Systems
Grazing Management on Organic Farms
Herd Health on Organic Dairy Farms
Milk Quality on Organic Dairy Farms
Organic Dairy Producer Profiles

Follow the LINK.

Approved Medications Regulations for Organic Dairy and Livestock in the United States

February 3, 2011


“For health care, § 205.238 of the National Organic Program (NOP) final rule (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2000) states that, “when preventive practices and veterinary biologics are inadequate to prevent sickness, a producer may administer synthetic medications, provided that such medications are allowed under §205.603 (the National List)”. Use of these medications may have specific withdrawal or “veterinarian prescription only” restrictions, and use of these medications without following the specific restrictions can result in loss of certification.”

Full article HERE.

Profitibility in organic, natural and grass-fed beef

February 2, 2011

from: the Leopold Institute

Farmers considering a transition from conventional beef production to one of several alternative production systems (such as organic,
natural, or grass-fed) need to be well informed about the possible challenges and constraints of making this shift.

See the whole factsheet HERE.

Grass-Fed Beef Notebook

February 1, 2011

from: The Small Farm Institute

“This handbook has been created as a resource starting point for individuals wanting to have more information about grass-fed beef. It is the compilation from a series of the workshops that were held with a group of Ohio dairy and beef farmers The opportunity to do the workshops and this handbook came from a grant provided by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market Promotion Program, United States Department of Agriculture. The project was titled “ Building a Grass-Fed Beef Production Infrastructure To Support Marketing and Serve Consumers’ Demands. “

Follow this LINK.

New video from Purdue explaining the new label requirements for meat products.

January 19, 2011


Organic Product Consumer Base Holds Steady; Volume Shifting to Mass Market Retailers

January 13, 2011


“For the third straight year, the percentage of US consumers purchasing Organic products has held steady in the 38-39% range, reports Shelton, CT-based marketing research and consulting company, TABS Group, Inc. ( While there has been no growth in the buyer count of Organic products since last year, there was a considerable shift in outlet patterns towards Mass Market and away from Natural Foods.

“We still see many fallacious reports that the number of consumers purchasing Organic products is growing; our research does not support that conclusion. The annual incidence of these products has gone from 38.4% to 38.0% to 38.6% from 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively,” stated TABS Group, Inc. President and Founder, Dr. Kurt Jetta. “What is very interesting, however, is that there were big shifts in the Outlet where consumers report that they purchase these products most often. The big winners were Traditional Grocers (41.0% to 44.1%) and Target (1.8% to 4.1%), while the losers were Wal-Mart (18.6% to 12.4%), Trader Joe’s (11.5% to 10.7%) and Other Natural Foods (6.2% to 4.6%). Total Natural Foods fell from being the most preferred outlet by 26.8% in 2009 to 24.4% in January 2011, a 9% drop.”This was the first year that Organic Chicken and Red Meat were included in the survey, and the reported purchase rates were 13.4% and 6.4%, respectively. The inclusion of these two categories had only a modest impact on over Organic penetration, pushing the incidence from 38.6% to 39.8%. Stated another way, less than 10% of the Organic Meat users were incremental to the Organic product sector.”

See the full report HERE.

USDA Offers Conservation Funding to Organic Producers

January 12, 2011


“Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced USDA will provide funding to help organic producers and those transitioning to organic production implement resource conservation practices on their agricultural operations.

“Increasing consumer demand for organically grown foods is providing new opportunities for small and mid-size farmers to prosper and stay competitive in today’s economy,” Merrigan said. “The 2008 Farm Bill calls for this assistance, and we want to help these farmers protect the natural resources on their land and create conditions that help foster organic production.”

Fiscal year (FY) 2011 marks the third year of USDA’s Organic Initiative, and up to $50 million is available this year for producers to plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns in ways that are consistent with organic production. For example, organic producers may use the funding to plant cover crops, establish integrated pest management plans, or implement nutrient management systems consistent with organic certification standards.”

More information HERE.

2011 Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum

January 11, 2011

From the Indiana Soybean Alliance:

“For the second year, Indiana’s agriculture industry will gather together for the 2011 Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum, a one-day educational forum on Friday, January 28, 2011.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance will sponsor the morning general session, which will feature world renown speakers on issues affecting Indiana’s grain and livestock farmers. Following lunch, each participating organization will sponsor breakout sessions on topics of specific interest to each commodity.”

Go HERE for more information and registration.

Local Dairy Days Feature New Dairy Practices

January 10, 2011

From Iowa State Extension:

“Iowa dairy producers will have the opportunity to hear Iowa State University Extension Specialists share information on emerging dairy industry issues at the 2011 ISU Extension Dairy Days scheduled at seven eastern Iowa locations between January 18 and February 15.”

Click HERE for more information and registration.

Meyer Natural Foods Acquires Dakota Beef

January 7, 2011


“Meyer Natural Foods has announced today the acquisition of Dakota Beef, one of the largest and oldest certified organic beef brands in North America. As part of the transaction, Meyer Natural Foods has secured a long-term supply of organic Angus calves born on Dakota Beef’s historic, 150,000-acre, open-range organic ranch in Oregon. This acquisition further strengthens Meyer Natural Foods’ industry leadership among natural and premium beef offerings.”

More information here.