Organic dairy farms in Vermont, and nationwide, are seeing historical lows in their pay price, with some farmers receiving an almost $10/cwt (hundred weight, or hundred pounds of milk) drop over the past year. Some milk buyers have also implemented a quota, limiting the amount of milk a farm is able to produce. The pay price and situation differs among milk buyers, as they have all been affected by, and handled, the over supply differently. These sudden, and for some, drastic changes in pay price means that some farmers are being paid close to, at or even below their cost of production, and can not make ends meet. Due to this, we’ve seen an increase in disaster requests for our Farmer Emergency Fund from organic dairy farmers for assistance in meeting their feed costs, and covering basic needs.
NOFA-VT has started a fundraising campaign to add an additional $50,000 to our Farmer Emergency Fund. This fundraising is in anticipation of an increase in requests from our dairy producers but is not limited to dairy farmers; all of our certified and NOFA member farms may apply for a $2500 grant and/or 0% interest loan.