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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a $1.1 million Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to the Dairy Research Institute (formerly known as Dairy Science Institute, Inc.), an affiliate of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The funding will support the development of a Dairy Farm Stewardship Toolkit for dairy producers to evaluate their production techniques and identify potential improvements in management practices. These improvements could increase profitability or reduce costs on the farm.

“This grant will help take the industry’s heritage of dairy stewardship to a new business level,” said Bob Foster, owner, Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, Vermont. “As dairy producers, we know that consumers want products that are not only nutritious and good-tasting, but also environmentally friendly. We have long been committed to stewardship, but have not had a science-based tool to identify and measure practices that reduce costs and environmental impact.”

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The members of Cooperatives Working Together reiterated their support for a multi-year program to help boost U.S. dairy exports, and thus help improve the economics of dairy farmers, with the stipulation that the program must be supported by 70% of the nation’s milk supply.

At a meeting in Virginia, the farmer-run committee overseeing CWT voted to renew the program for two years, starting in January 2012 and running through December 2013 – once a 70% level participation level can be reached. Current membership pledges amount to 68% of the milk supply.

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Click here to download the latest update from Dairy Management, Inc. This pdf features information regarding the recent milk radiation issue. PD

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Yes: Eastleigh Farm is one of the last remaining dairies within city limits in Massachusetts. If not for our sales of fresh raw milk to consumers, this beautiful farm would have been lost to the pressures of development, just as has happened to so many other farms all over the country.

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Ag Committee chairs say no dairy policy reform before Farm Bill
There seems to be consensus between the U.S. House and Senate agriculture committees about when dairy reform should move through Congress. At least for now, it will remain where it has always been – within the farm bill.

In a recent interview with Agri-Pulse in May, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, clearly indicated her belief that dairy policy would not move ahead of the 2012 Farm Bill.

“The only reason to even talk about moving it separately would be if there was agreement on a package. At the moment, there is not,” Stabenow said.

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The loss of Alaska’s state-subsidized Matanuska Maid dairy at the end of 2007 devastated milk producers in the fertile Matanuska Valley, long the agricultural heart of Alaska.

Now, more than three years later, the state’s milk production has recovered from a low of 2009 – when Alaska milk production dropped 17 percent – to rebound at the end of last year.

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