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Introduced by Senator Giard of Addison District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Agriculture; milk promotion

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to provide a farm financial promotional program that clearly demonstrates to dairy farmers that it is in their best economic interest to keep the commodity of milk in short supply.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


(a)  From 1980 to 2005, 25 years, the yearly farmgate price paid to Vermont’s conventional dairy farmer has averaged $13.56 per hundredweight.  When that price is adjusted for 25 years of inflation, the purchasing power of the farmgate price is $6.09.

(b)  Dairy processing companies in New England have consistently reformulated their ingredients, adding water, adding exorbitant amounts of air, and shrinking retail packages, displacing the need for milk products.

(c)  For close to four decades, the only way the farmer generated more farm income was to produce consistently more commodity of milk.  This policy has held the price to the farmer historically low.

(d)  Milk production has increased year after year, holding the farmgate price down where the Vermont farmer has lost 56 percent of his or her purchasing power.

(e)  Price history clearly shows that when the milk supply tightens up, the farmgate price increases measurably.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 2987(e) is added to read:

(e)  On and after July 1, 2007, $0.05 of the $0.10 assessment collected pursuant to section 2981 of this chapter shall be used for the purpose of developing and purchasing advertising space in major and widely distributed dairy farm publications that are widely received by American dairy farmers.  The full page advertisements shall explain the financial benefits to dairy farmers when milk supplies remain “tight.”  The ads shall contain, but not be limited to the following:

(1)  the present “all milk price” per region of the county that the dairy farmers receives;

(2)  the estimated farm price milk would climb to if milk production declines by the percent of overproduction that needs to be reduced to obtain an increase;

(3)  the date used to demonstrate the higher price shall be the date of the most recent “high” farmgate price paid to dairy farmers when the national milk supply was tight;

(4)  the yearly income difference per farm between the present farmgate price and the yearly “tightened price” based on overage yearly milk production for farms with herd sizes of 50 cows to 500 cows in 50-cow increments;

(5)  clearly written and in bold type, at the top of each advertisement shall be written:  “the increased wealth created per dairy farmer when the overall milk supply is kept tight”;

(6)  in large print, at the bottom of each advertisement shall be written the following:  paid for by (list the organizations that have contributed to the cost of the advertisement;

(7)  the council may use the funds designated by this subsection for other creative ways to convince dairy producers that producing less milk is to their best financial interest;

(8)  the funds designated by this subsection may be combined with any other funds that promote the goals of this section;

(9)  the council may partner with other states to help promote the purposes of this subsection.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont