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dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farm Credit East is a lender that provides financial resources to the agricultural industry.  It recently hosted a webinar with a Cornell University dairy expert who talked about the impact of the pandemic on the dairy economics and provided an outlook for the upcoming year.

dairy cows
WAMC

Dairy farmers are facing numerous challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic including a loss of markets and falling milk prices.  Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st district held a call with the district’s dairy farmers on Wednesday to talk about what Washington can do to help.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott outlined a $400 million pandemic economic recovery program for businesses across the state during his COVID-19 briefing Wednesday.

farm tractor in field
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Many sectors in agriculture were struggling before the coronavirus pandemic and in its wake some are reaching crisis points, including dairy producers. This afternoon, Vermont at-large Democratic Congressman Peter Welch held an online meeting with the state Farm Bureau to discuss the situation and what federal help is needed.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The food supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus has led to some dairy farmers dumping some of their milk because they have no place to sell it. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will be stepping in to try to get the milk to new markets and to help feed those left jobless from the economic shutdown.

dairy cow
WAMC

Agriculture is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as markets for all products tighten.  Dairy farmers in particular have been hurt. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch discussed the situation with farmers and co-ops Thursday afternoon.

Hundreds attend the 2020 Vermont Dairy Producers Association conference
Vermont Dairy Producers Association

Several hundred dairy farmers and producers met in Burlington recently for an annual conference that targets keeping the industry viable throughout the region.

Dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Members of the 100-year-old St. Albans Cooperative recently approved merging its assets, which include a milk hauling company and a creamery plant, with Kansas-based Dairy Farmers of America.

dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony earlier this week on a proposed merger of the St. Albans Cooperative and Dairy Farmers of America.

dairy cow
WAMC

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is coordinating a “Northern Tier Dairy Summit.” The intent is to find new initiatives that can help manage dairy farms outside of federal constraints.

dairy cow
WAMC

New York’s junior U.S. senator is calling for assurances that the state’s dairy industry will be protected in any NAFTA renegotiation with Canada. In a conference call Tuesday, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand said the president should reject any plan with unfair quotas and tariffs or that prevents producers from selling milk products in Canada.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Republican New York Congressman John Faso hosted U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Thursday at two Columbia County farms. Farmers’ concerns focused on securing a reliable workforce and how to keep dairy farmers afloat.

Dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Dairy Margin Protection Program was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill as a risk management program. It pays farmers when the difference between the price they are paid for milk produced at the farm and the cost of feed, or margin, falls below a set amount. But many dairy farmers, especially in the Northeast, said the program was expensive and didn’t work.  And that is causing concern as officials try to get dairy producers to sign up for the revised program by June 1st.  Vermont officials were at the Statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday to urge farmers to sign up.

dairy cow
WAMC

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this afternoon called on the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to authorize $300 million in emergency relief funding for dairy farmers.

Four Fat Fowl is an Artisan Creamery committed to making locally-sourced, handcrafted cheeses of the finest quality. The family operation is based in Stephentown, a small town in Rensselaer County, NY. 

Shaleena Bridgham joins us now to share more about the company’s story and, of course, more about their cheese.

dairy cow
WAMC

Vermont legislators are drafting an emergency rescue package to help the state's struggling dairy farmers.

Cows
Daisyree Bakker | Flickr

New York's governor is threatening to sue federal immigration officials following a raid on an upstate dairy farm that he says was illegal.

a piglet
Hancock Shaker Village Facebook page

It may not feel like spring has sprung – but it is nearly time for a major regional spring event: Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

On April 14, Hancock Shaker Village will begin welcoming visitors to visit their newly restored silos, Dairy Ell, and Round Stone Barn – which will be full of lambs, piglets, calves, chicks, and kids through May 6.

We are joined by Hancock Shaker Village’s Director of Facilities and Farm Billy Mangiardi and Director of Education Cindy Dickinson.

dairy cows
WAMC

Mountain Lake PBS held a forum on the dairy crisis Monday evening, covering how historically low milk prices are impacting farmers.  It comes at the same time New York U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand announced new legislation aimed at bolstering a safety net that farmers say doesn’t work.

dairy cows
WAMC

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is promoting legislation that would return to dairy farmers premiums paid into a program intended to be a safety net when milk prices to producers plummet.  The Democrat says farmers have never benefited even though milk prices have been dropping since the program was implemented.

dairy cows
WAMC

The Vermont Milk Commission is working to learn more about the health of the state's dairy industry in hopes that solutions to the challenges the industry faces can be addressed in the next federal farm bill.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Following dry and drought conditions last summer, Northeast farmers are facing the opposite challenge this growing season: a rainy, cool spring that has delayed the planting of corn and other crops and the first cutting of hay for livestock feed.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas / wikipedia

The dairy group that has run the popular Milk Bar at the New York State Fair since 1952 says it's pulling out because of funding issues with the Cuomo administration.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

New dairy import policies being considered by Canada has prompted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to write the Canadian premier highlighting the negative impact on both countries if Canada implements a National Ingredient Strategy.

dairy cows
WAMC

Milk production in the region is up as the payments farmers are receiving have dropped to unprofitable levels.  Meanwhile the federal program intended to buffer the low points is coming under increasing criticism.  This is occurring at the same time an export market that might aid the dairy industry could be blocked.

Greg Parish/Flickr

The Vermont Attorney General’s office has ordered a dairy farm in Brandon to take corrective actions and pay a fine for violations of the state’s water pollution laws and agricultural practice regulations.

dairy cows
WAMC

Northeast dairy farmers anticipating a payout from a settlement with a national dairy marketing cooperative may have to wait a year before seeing any checks. 

Melissa Wiese/Flickr

A federal judge in Vermont has approved a $50 million settlement to be paid by a national dairy marketing cooperative to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers.

Agri-Mark and Empire State Development announced Thursday that nearly $30 million will be invested in the company’s Northern New York cheese manufacturing plant.

farm tractor in field
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farmers and agricultural leaders from Vermont, New England and New York gathered in Burlington today for an annual conference for dairy producers. Sustainability is a key issue at the gathering.

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