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National dairy trends taking toll on local farmers

Posted on October 1, 2012 |
By Xian Chiang-Waren



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ADDISON COUNTY — With grain prices sky-high and milk prices dropping, a few family-owned Addison County dairy farms are closing their doors this fall.

Paul Audy of New Haven and John Roberts of Cornwall, both in their early sixties, cited a confluence of forces that prompted each of them to get out of the business they had been in for decades: the increasing financial challenges of running a medium-sized herd, the tumultuous market exacerbated by the dairy pricing regulations and the toll of working long hours for years on end.

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Butterwick Farm hosts visit from Brown Swiss convention

Posted on July 19, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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CORNWALL — Miles off the main road in Cornwall one morning in early July, a crowd of dairy farmers from around the country examined the Brown Swiss cows at Butterwick Farm.

All were attendees at the Brown Swiss Association National Convention, held at Shelburne Farms from July 4 to 7. John and Lisa Roberts, owners of Butterwick Farm, welcomed the visitors to their farm to get a taste of dairy farming in the Green Mountain State.

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Dairy farmers urge reform in farm bill

Posted on July 9, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MIDDLEBURY — If market reform measures do not pass in this year’s federal farm bill, Vermont dairy farms will have a hard time staying in business, local dairy farmers told Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., last Thursday morning.

Without dairy reform, said Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, “I just don’t understand how our little farms will survive this fall. The farms that were on the brink three months ago, I don’t know how they can look to the future.”

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Farm bill targets federal ag spending

Posted on June 28, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles on the 2012 federal Farm Bill. The second article, covering the bill’s possible impact on nutrition assistance programs, will appear in Monday’s edition.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the U.S. Senate approved its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, a five-year bill that determines funding and policy for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs — including some that could affect Vermont farmers and residents.

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Ferrisburgh farmers bottle their own milk

Posted on June 7, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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HINESBURG/FERRISBURGH — There’s a new brand of organic milk hitting the shelves in stores around Vermont from a Ferrisburgh farm that after years producing high-quality milk is now also bottling it and sending it to retailers.

Kimball Brook Farm has been milking 200 Jersey and Holstein cows and selling to the national market for 15 years. But when Cheryl and J.D. DeVos flipped the switch at their small Hinesburg bottling plant on May 17, they were marking a major transition to processor and distributor of their own milk.

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Low milk prices drive dairy farmers to open petting zoo

Posted on May 24, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



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ORWELL — The look on Alysa Farley’s face was one of serene happiness as she carried a three-week-old lamb named Ernie around the barn at Independence Petting Farm last week.

And Ernie, for his part, was perfectly content.

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Milk prices spur calls for reform

Posted on April 9, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — After two years of relatively strong milk prices, the United States Department of Agriculture last week announced that falling dairy prices and the high cost of feed has triggered support payments to dairy farmers.

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Bill bolsters ag, forest and food processing

Posted on February 6, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MONTPELIER — Vermont lawmakers are working on legislation that aims to bolster Vermont’s economy while retaining the hallmarks of its rural landscape.

The main focus in both the House and Senate agriculture committees so far this session has been the Working Lands Enterprise Bill, which seeks to bolster the agriculture, forestry and value-added food processing business sectors in the state.

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Lawmakers tackle slaughterhouse, current use issues

Posted on February 6, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MONTPELIER — While legislators focus their efforts on the Working Lands Enterprise Bill, they are also addressing other aspects of Vermont’s agricultural economy.

Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, and Sen. Harold Giard, D-Bridport, both said they will be paying close attention to the discussion of slaughter issues this legislative session, both in the context of the Working Lands bill and on a larger scale.

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Guest Editorial: Progress for dairy policies?

Posted on December 5, 2011 |
By St. Albans Messenger



When the “supercommittee” on debt reduction collapsed one of the proposals that collapsed with it was a potential change in the nation’s dairy policy by year’s end. Federal price supports for agriculture, as with everything else, are the obvious targets of budget cutters, then, and now.

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