It has been a horribly depressing life for dairy farmers of late. Many local farms have had to give up the fight, due to economic situations beyond their control. Believe me when I say that these are fiscally responsible, hard-working, good people, who were handed a bad hand by the industry giants who are setting milk prices. After losing money for so long, you have to cut bait at some point, before you cause suffering to your “charges” – the cows at your farm, the calves, and other animals. Farms are “going under” everyday across the Northeast and it is incredibly sad to see it happen.
From a psychological point of view, it is depressing for the farmer to admit defeat, and to have to say goodbye to loved animals, and chosen profession. Often these farmers have existed in the agricultural sector their whole life, and may not have other quickly marketable skills — another tough situation in this economy. Towns will feel the impact of farms closing. Will the Nation as a whole? Probably not. Local, small farms in the Northeast are unique. And disappearing.
Today! Struggling Vermont dairy farmers, who last year saw the lowest milk prices in 40 years, will get a chance to voice their concerns to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack will visit Vermont on Saturday. (Today)
He joins Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch at a dairy town hall meeting in Burlington.
Vilsack also will speak at the Northeast Organic Farming Association annual winter conference and the University of Vermont and the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery annual meeting in St. Albans.
The dairy town meeting starts at 10 a.m. at the Burlington Hilton hotel and is open to the public.
– – – – – – – – -> Can you attend? Can you take steps locally to support the farmers who are still fighting to stay in business? Can you purchase some local milk from a dairy near you? Please decide which action is appropriate for you, and do something. Please don’t wait until it is too late. < – – – – – – – – – – –
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
*How are we? We are okay. Do you want to treat your Valentine to a local feast for a lovely home-cooked dinner tomorrow? Then call and stop by today, and pick up a lovely entree from our farm in Shelburne. That is what we are doing this year!
*And please remember, we are only two weeks away from a Farmers Market! Saturday the 27th, at Turners Falls High School, from 9 to noon. We will bring a selection of meat from our farm: veal, beef, pork.
*We are still accepting reservations for whole chickens, for pickup aat the end of March (next month).
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Singer-songwriter Joanna Chapman-Smith, has a song called “Things Are Gonna Go Wrong” — very appropriate for farming — not that it has ANYTHING to do with farming, but that we lost twenty or so baby chicks last night due to low temperatures.
Critics have said: Joanna playfully braids the striking sounds of Vaudeville Folk with the warm flavours of Jazz & Blues. With an exquisite vocal style and artful lyrics – this offbeat singer/songwriter puts on a feisty show.
She has a great sound, and is a creative storyteller… NPR’s Weekend Edition just profiled her. You can find more information on the NPR website. http://www.npr.org. Her website is http://www.joannacs.com
We mourn the deaths of the chicks, and alter our operations in order to preserve those who are living. We move on. That is all we can do. We learn from our mistakes. And we are human. Farming.