We all know the extreme threat that dairy in Vermont is facing. Farms continue to sell off their herds or land and milk prices continue to stay stuck at 1977 levels. Milk prices are a federal policy and there is little that Vermont can do to directly change them. But we can put pressure on the processors to establish a milk quota, so farmers are paid fairly for a set amount of milk rather than their only option being to produce more, further driving down prices.
But we do have opportunities to market Vermont quality and freshness to 20 million consumers within a four hour drive. Farmers are creative folks, they are already doing this on their own, fitting it in between chores. But we need to help them more.
I have worked to successfully ease restrictions on on-farm slaughter and processing, on raw milk sales, and on on-farm events, creating more opportunities for farms to thrive. I brought the Secretary and Deputy Secretary down here to visit local farms and speak directly with those on the front lines. I urged lifting regulations on those who qualify as “regenerative” rather than imposing yet another inspection and permit to do the right thing