In August of 2021, Danone/Horizon informed 28 organic dairy farms in Vermont that contracts to purchase milk would not be renewed after August 31, 2022. Secretary Tebbetts has convened a Task Force to work on options for these 28 farms. The goal of the task force is to provide as many possible options for the impacted farmers as possible by January or February of 2022 providing time for the farmers to review the options and determine if an option will work for their individual farm. The task force has four subgroup to work on specific issues:
- Farmer Focus – resources for farmers, data and information and communications
- Processor Focus – determining if a processor is willing to produce organic products, assistance with facility upgrades/changes and market
- Organic Standards – concerns with origin of livestock rule and pasture rule
- Multi-State Efforts – keeping the group informed of efforts occurring in New York, New Hampshire and Maine – these states have farms that were also impacted by the Danone/Horizon announcement
"The task force is focused on giving the best information possible to the farmer so they can make informed decisions about their business," Agency of Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. "We have just begun our work but this resource page is meant to help the farmer now as the task force continues its work. Please check in to this web page for updates."
This web page will have the materials generated by the task force, notes from the task force meeting and other relevant information.
Available Task Force Resources and Information
- Task Force Recommendations to USDA
- Secretary Tebbetts Response Letter to USDA Re: Task Force Recommendations
- Task Force Meeting Notes - January 7, 2022
- Task Force Meeting Notes - November 5, 2021
- Task Force Meeting Notes - October 8, 2021
- Task Force Meeting Notes - September 10, 2021
- Task Force Meeting Notes - August 27, 2021
- Horizon Farmer Resources Letter
- Task Force Description Presentation
- Task Force Discussion and Action Presentation
Horizon Farmer Outreach Form - For Informational Purposes Only | The Task Force partners have been contacting every farm and this is the type of information being collected while providing farmers a level of confidentiality as they share this information.
Member of the task force include farmer representatives, representatives from the following organizations:
- Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets
- Agency of Commerce and Community Development
- Agri-Mark, Inc.
- Agriculture Service Provider
- Dairy Farmers of America
- Morrison Feeds
- Organic Valley
- VEDA/VACC – lender
- Vermont Cheese Council
- Vermont Congressional Delegation
- Vermont Farm Bureau
- Vermont Farm and Forest Viability
For questions, please contact Diane Bothfeld – Diane.firstname.lastname@example.org