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Legislative Dairy Tour - September 18th & 19th, 2019

Come along with us and legislators on a 2-day tour of 6 dairy farms in 3 Vermont counties! Secretary Anson Tebbetts led the tour along with many agriculture and environmental officials, but the stars were the farms and farmers.  Day 1 was hosted by:

Dairy issues and challenges were all part of the tour, as well as their love of their animals, land and life.

Day 2 brought the tour to: 

to finish the tour. Governor Phil Scott joined us as well, to hear more about why Vermont loves and needs dairy!

How we got here: 

At the Northern Tier Dairy Summit earlier this year, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) facilitated a discussion between dairy farmers, dairy officials, industry experts and legislative leaders to determine what areas of information were most sensitive to the ongoing success and survival of traditional dairy farming in Vermont.  Many thoughtful discussions took place over the two-day event with a number of important ideas surfacing for future consideration.  One of the more talked-about ideas was the need for legislators to have direct exposure to the farms that they legislate.  It was felt by some in the dairy community that legislation was being considered without the knowledge base or experience necessary to formulate informed decisions. 

In the wake of this outcome at the Dairy Summit, officials at the Agency have constructed a 2-day, dairy farm tour, to take place September 18th in Addison County, and September 19th in Windsor and Orange Counties.  VAAFM Agriculture Development Section Chief Laura Ginsburg has organized a tour of 6 dairy-farms to provide context for important dairy issues such as water quality, Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), crop and soil management, innovative systems used on farms, and to highlight the diversity of Vermont dairy farms.  Each farm involved in the tour will focus on a different set of issues and experiences for the visiting legislators in hopes that the engagement and information will assist them as they move into the 2020 legislative session.

Legislators who joined us include: 

  • Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman
  • Senator Ruth Hardy
  • Representative Harvey Smith
  • Representative Maida Townsend
  • Representative Diane Lanpher
  • Representative Matt Birong
  • Representative Dave Potter
  • Senator Brian Collamore
  • Representative Carol Ode
  • Senator Alison Clarkson
  • Representative Carl Demrow
  • Senator Alice Nitka
  • Senator Dick McCormack
  • Representative James Harrison

Northeast DBIC Staff

Laura Ginsburg, Center Lead
laura.ginsburg@vermont.gov
(802) 522-2252 

Kathryn Donovan, Programs Manager
kathryn.donovan@vermont.gov
(802) 585-4571

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Funding for the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grants AM190100XXXXG081, AM200100XXXXG003, 21DBIVT1004-00, and AM21DBIVT1011-00. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.