Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

InFocus: State of the organic industry, with a spotlight on Vermont dairies

Published on 11 March 2014

Click here to download a PDF of the "InFocus" image from the March 12, 2014 issue of Progressive Dairyman magazine.




  • Organic dairyfarms account for23 percent of the900-some dairiesin Vermont.
  • From 2004-2012,34 Vermont organicdairy farms wereevaluated on theirfinancial data.
  • The Millennial generation, adults born between 1977 and 1998, now make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population.Millennials place more value on organic products versus previous generations and are likely to continue to fuel theorganic industry growth as they begin to have families of their own.
  • Organic dairy sales are on the rise.Sales of organic dairy grew to$4.6 billion in 2012, a 7.1 percentincrease compared to 2011.
  • 25 percent of parents buying organic milk in 2013said they “always” buy organic dairy,which is up 7 percent compared to 2011.


Horizon Organic dairy farmer and elementary school teacherJulia Deichmann of Belmont, New York, says, “In the classroom, I’ve seen how studentscan’t do their best when their bodies are lacking the propernutrition. Some seem fatigued, distracted or rowdy. I believethat many issues like ADD and childhood obesity are partlydue to pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives and otherchemicals in our environment.

"We don’t feed these things tothe cows on our farm, and shouldn’t feed them to our kids. Ialso believe that adopting a lifestyle with more organic foodand products and eating healthier diets is part of the solution.”Julia and her family recently received the 2013 HorizonOrganic Producer Education (HOPE) Award, which recognizesfamilies who advocate for organic agriculture in their localcommunities.

Related articles:
The battle for success: Study reveals obstacles of organic dairying in Vermont
Organic farming a commitment to agricultural practices