The Vermont Milk Commission was created in 2008 by then Governor Jim Douglas. Governor Douglas emphasized the value of Vermont’s dairy industry in 2006, stating, “It’s part of our culture, our way of life” He went on to say that farmers are “the stewards of the land, and they maintain the working landscape that’s so important to our natural beauty and our tourism.”1 At Governor Douglas’s direction, the Commission then explored ideas in which the dairy market could survive and move forward sustainably. This mission continues a decade later as the dairy industry explores fair pricing and supply management systems that could be implemented regionally and nationally.
During the 2017 Legislative session, Act 77 was passed. This act included the following language regarding the Milk Commission:
Sec. 3. VERMONT MILK COMMISSION; EQUITABLE DAIRY PRICING
On or before October 1, 2017, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall convene the Vermont Milk Commission under 6 V.S.A. chapter 161 to review and evaluate proposals that enhance and stabilize the dairy industry in Vermont and New England and that may be appropriate for inclusion in the federal Farm Bill 2018. The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall submit to the congressional delegation of Vermont proposals that the Milk Commission recommends for inclusion in the federal Farm Bill 2018.
Since September of 2017, the Vermont Milk Commission has met regularly to ascertain the health of the state’s dairy industry, hear Farm Bill proposals, evaluate these proposals and prepare recommendations to the congressional delegation for the 2018 federal Farm Bill. Over the past year, the Commission has met with and gathered vital information from dairy farmers, milk handlers and consumers to determine proposals that enhance and stabilize the dairy industry in Vermont and New England.
The Commission’s work informed a report delivered in January of 2018 to the state’s federal delegation working on the 2018 federal Farm Bill in Washington D.C. President Donald Trump signed the the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (a.k.a. the 2018 Farm Bill) into law on December 20, 2018, after receiving overwhelming support from Congress. Click here to find more in-depth information about the 2018 Farm Bill.
Watch: 2019 Milk Commission Growth Management and Legislative Recommendations
Below please find links to the Milk Commission's full reports and Executive Summaries:
- January 2019 Executive Summary
- January 2019 Full Report
- January 2018 Executive Summary
- January 2018 Full Report
Vermont Business Magazine
Find out more information about the 2018 Farm Bill and what it means for Vermont agriculture.
Read Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts comments on the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and what it could mean for Vermont Dairy.
Vermont Milk Commission Meetings and Materials
1. The New York Times - Soggy Weather Compounds Misery of Beleaguered Dairy Farmers in Vermont
By PAM BELLUCK JULY 2, 2006 https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/us/soggy-weather-compounds-misery-of-...