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Dean Foods settlement to pay farmers

Posted on December 13, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



BURLINGTON — Some Vermont dairy farmers may soon see some financial relief following a proposed $30 million court settlement by the Dean Foods Company.

The Texas-based dairy processing giant is one of two defendants in a class-action antitrust lawsuit brought by farmers in the Northeast in May. The farmers, who filed the case in the U.S.

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Trust keeps 1,500 acres of farmland open in 2010

Posted on December 6, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY — Sid Claflin and his sisters last month signed the papers on a sale that will permanently protect 200 acres of land on their family’s Monkton farm from development.
The parcel of the family’s 325-acre farm is now protected by a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust, which permanently protects the land from development and subdivision.

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Dubois farm running on cow power

Posted on November 18, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 
ADDISON — The Dubois Farm in Addison this week flipped a switch and brought its methane digester on line.
The $2.6 million digester is expected to generate enough power to run 400 homes, and it will take its place as the 10th working digester in Vermont — including the one at Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, which has been in operation since the 1980s.

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Weybridge author documents dairy farm life

Posted on September 9, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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WEYBRIDGE — When Weybridge photojournalist and writer George Bellerose asked Grayson Wyman to sum up his life as a dairy farmer, the answer was simple:

“It was 46 years of pretty straight going,” Wyman said.

This became the title statement of Bellerose’s recently published book, “Forty-Six Years of Pretty Straight Going: The Life of a Family Dairy Farm,” which follows brothers Larry and Grayson Wyman through the last years of work on their Weybridge farm before their retirement in 2005.

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Four Hills Farm plans cowpower

Posted on May 20, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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BRISTOL — One of Addison County’s largest farms has secured a $250,000 grant to put toward the construction of an on-farm methane digester to convert manure into electricity.

Bristol’s Four Hills Farm was received the grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which last week announced more than $3 million in grants and low-interest loans for 15 Vermont renewable energy projects.  

Brian Hill, who co-owns the farm with Kevin, Ronald and Joanne Hill, said the farmers have been considering installing a methane digester for about eight years.

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Orwell family keeps farm alive, fields open

Posted on May 10, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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ORWELL — The decision to go to auction didn’t come easily to the Barnes family, longtime dairy farmers at Red Sky Farm in Orwell. But a silver lining to the family’s choice to leave the dairy industry in 2004 is a budding farm stand that has ensured the exodus of cows hasn’t given way to fallow agricultural land.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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