The New York Organic Dairy Program (NYODP) has partnered with the New York Farm Viability Institute to make grant funding available for organic dairy producers to participate in the Cornell Organic Dairy Farm Business Summary (DFBS) program and select a project for immediate attention through a modified Dairy Profit Team approach.

Farms currently participating in the Dairy Farm Business Summary and those that have not completed a DFBS before are both eligible for funding. Priority for grants will be given to certified organic dairies, however, farms in transition to become organic are encouraged to apply.

Farmers may first apply for funds to:

  • Work with a qualified farm business consultant to upload the operating and financial information for the individual farm into the Cornell Organic Dairy Farm Business Summary,
  • If the farmer has completed a 2016 Summary, to work with the consultant to review the data to select a short-term project that will benefit the farm. Varying levels of funding are available for this initial step.

Funding is also available for farmers to work with a consultant on a project that will help the business better meet its goals. Applicants for a project grant must first complete a 2016 DFBS.

Farmers requesting project funds will be required to work with NYODP to document their desired goal and projects must be achievable within 18 months of the formation of the consultant ‘team.’ Examples of projects include, but are not limited to, developing a business plan, enhancing transitioning practices, and constructing facilities. NYODP will provide up to $1,500 for the consultant and team to complete its project work.

NYODP Manager Fay Benson will assist farmers in identifying a qualified farm business consultant for each of the two levels of funding. Consultants who have already agreed to work with this modified Organic Dairy Profit Team approach are:  

  • Klaas Martens, Penn Yan, NY; a well-known pioneer in organic field crop production, co-founder of New York Organic Certified, and an advisor on general organic dairy management;
  • Tom Kilcer, Advanced Ag Systems, Kinderhook NY, with a specialty in crop rotations specifically fit to an individual farm to provide the best possible forage for dairy animals and livestock;
  • Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting, Enosburg Falls, VT, working with grazers to improve the performance of farm pastures and livestock production; and
  • Consultants in the existing Dairy Farm Business Summary network.