Producer/Host: Holli Cederholm
Editing: Clare Boland
Common Ground Radio is an hour-long discussion of local food and organic agriculture with people here in the state of Maine and beyond.
On the December 2022 episode of Common Ground Radio, host Holli Cederholm discusses the organic dairy crisis in the Northeast and how it is impacting farms in Maine with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist Jacki Martinez Perkins, who grew up on an organic dairy farm, and Annie Watson, who co-owns Sheepscot Valley Farm, an organic dairy in Whitefield, Maine. Watson also currently serves on the boards of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, and she is board president of the Maine Dairy Industry Association. Additionally, she is CEO and a founding partner of the Maine Organic Milk Company, a start-up working to bring organic dairy processing to the state. Tune in to hear why organic dairy farms are an important part of Maine’s landscape, why they’re in trouble and the ways that listeners can help support these farms to the benefit of Maine’s communities, local economies and the environment.
Key Discussion Points:
-Organic dairy industry
-Origin of Livestock USDA organic rule
-Cost of organic production
-Organic dairy pay price
-Where to buy local, organic milk
-Farm Bill 2023
-Grain price inflation
Jacki Martinez Perkins, who grew up on a small, award-winning, organic dairy in central Maine. She has worked in various aspects of the dairy industry including as an artificial insemination technician and a herd manager before becoming the organic dairy and livestock specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). Her work includes supporting organic dairy and livestock operations through management and organic certification considerations as well as helping to develop policies regarding organic production.
Annie Watson, who is a co-owner of Sheepscot Valley Farm, an organic dairy farm in Whitefield, where she lives with her husband, Mike Moody, and their three young sons. She currently serves on the boards of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, and she is board president of the Maine Dairy Industry Association. Additionally, she is CEO and a founding partner of the Maine Organic Milk Company, a start-up working to bring organic dairy processing to the state.
Find Local, Organic Farmers and Producers
Articles on Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards Proposed Rule, and Origin of Livestock final rule in MOFGA’s The Organic Sprout newsletter — indd.adobe.com/view/04e87eab-9318-4e85-95fc-1dd7ddd5d605
Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership
Maine Dairy Industry Association
Ways to Support Organic Dairy
About the hosts:
Holli Cederholm has been involved in organic agriculture since 2005 when she first apprenticed on a small farm. She has worked on organic farms in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Scotland and Italy and, in 2010, founded a small farm focused on celebrating open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables. As the former manager of a national nonprofit dedicated to organic seed growers, she authored a peer-reviewed handbook on GMO avoidance strategies for seed growers. Holli has also been a steward at Forest Farm, the iconic homestead of “The Good Life” authors Helen and Scott Nearing; a host of “The Farm Report” on Heritage Radio Network; and a long-time contributor for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, which she now edits in her role as content creator and editor at MOFGA.
Caitlyn Barker has worked in education and organic agriculture on and off for the last 17 years. She has worked on an organic vegetable farm, served on the Maine Farm to School network, worked in early childhood education and taught elementary school. She currently serves as the community engagement coordinator for MOFGA.