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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
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Dairy giants accused of monopoly

Posted on May 6, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Dairy farmers in the Northeast are training their sights on the massive Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) co-op and processing giant Dean Foods in an effort to prove that price fixing and illegal monopolization of the dairy industry has kept milk prices artificially low for struggling producers.

These farmers’ action represents the latest in a series of lawsuits around the country alleging that a lack of competition in the dairy processing industry has resulted in record profits for milk processors at the cost of lower prices for farmers.

full story

Farmers focus on migrant issues

Posted on April 29, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



MIDDLEBURY — Ask Cheryl Connor and her husband, Jerry, about their decision to hire farmworkers from Mexico, and the Connors will tell you a story that begins 20 years ago — with a dream.

It was an unexpected dream for Jerry, a Bridport dairyman and third-generation farmer. Though he had no ties at the time to Mexico, he’d dreamt clearly of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary held dear by Mexican Catholics.

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Updates eyed for quality seal program

Posted on April 26, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture is overhauling its Vermont Seal of Quality program after a kerfuffle this winter put the allegedly ill-managed program on the chopping block.

But now agency officials, along with Vermont producers, are heading back to the drawing board to revive — and revise — the seal of quality after legislators kept the program alive with a $50,000 appropriation in the jobs bill signed into law by Gov. James Douglas earlier this month.

full story

Welch unveils legislation to curb volatility in milk prices

Posted on April 19, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



FAIRFAX, Vt. — Rep. Peter Welch on Friday unveiled long-awaited legislation that could, if passed, create a “growth management program” for the U.S. dairy industry that supporters hope would curb the volatile highs and lows of the federal milk pricing system.

full story

Farmers team up for collaborative CSA

Posted on April 15, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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ADDISON COUNTY — On a brisk mid-April morning, Jeremy Gildrien worked alone in the large greenhouse beside his Middlebury home, fashioning from a mound of earth the “soil blocks” that would someday soon nurture small, green seedlings.

The breeze cut through the greenhouse as Gildrien worked among the rows of spinach and radishes and pea shoots, each sending up sprouts. He and his wife, Caitlin, are beginning farmers, and they’re learning that much of the work on their vegetable farm is solitary.

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Dairy looks to bottle own milk

Posted on March 29, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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NORTH FERRISBURGH — One North Ferrisburgh dairy farm is considering reviving the dwindling tradition of bottling and marketing its own milk in the hopes of escaping the economic uncertainty of the bulk milk market.

full story

Warm temps slow down sugarmaking

Posted on March 22, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Spring is sprung!

While warm weather this weekend may have delighted most county residents, temperatures that pushed 60 degrees in parts of the region caused a bit of consternation from local sugarmakers, many of whom worried the warm spell could signal the end to a brief maple sugaring season this year.

full story

Sugaring time: Young men learn ancient art

Posted on March 8, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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ADDISON COUNTY — For most local maple syrup makers, each sugaring season is marked by something new. Prices fluctuate. Mother Nature is unpredictable. And now and then, there’s an advancement in the field of sugaring — like the “check valves” that many sugarmakers are using this year for the first time to increase production (see story, Page 18) — that changes the business of sugarmaking just enough to get everyone talking.

full story

Ag chief: consensus needed for dairy reform

Posted on February 18, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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BURLINGTON — In the first visit from the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Vermont in 20 years, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack last weekend told Vermont’s struggling dairy farmers that changes in their industry are overdue, but that any reforms will need to come from farmers, not Washington.

The visit came at the end of what has been the hardest year in recent memory for Vermont farmers, who have been selling milk below the cost of production and taking out enormous loans to keep their farms in business.

full story

Changes to Current Use proposed

Posted on February 1, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Budget woes could spell major changes for the state’s Use Value Appraisal Program, better known as “Current Use,” which is credited with preserving millions of acres of Vermont forestland and farmland from development.

Right now, the 32-year-old program is facing a one-year moratorium on new enrollments, higher penalties for landowners who withdraw land from Current Use to be developed, and a new property transfer tax that would be more in line with the rates applied to other property sales in the state.

full story

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