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March
  1. Three Northeast Dairy Farm Families Recognized for Their Herds’ Excellent Milk Quality
June
  1. Dairy Co-op asks U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to stop the price collapse and set minimum wholesale dairy product prices
June
  1. Richardson’s Rocky Acres Farm celebrated during June Dairy Month
April
  1. Townley named new CEO of Agri-Mark
  2. CABOT CREAMERY EARNS HONORS AT 2015 US CHAMPIONSHIP CHEESE CONTEST
  3. Agri-Mark paid out a record amount in milk quality premiums to farmers last year
September
  1. Young farmers receive $1,000 Scholarships from Agri-Mark
March
  1. Agri-Mark farmers receive $11 million year-end profit
  2. CABOT VINTAGE CHOICE CHEDDAR REPEATS AS GOLD MEDLIST AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
August
  1. Agri-Mark earns Grade A designation from FDA on its whey products
March
  1. PDF Agri-Mark farmers share $10.2 million year-end profit.
September
  1. PDF Agri-Mark Named 2013 Exporter of the Year
March
  1. PDF Agri-Mark farmers will share $15 million year-end profit
October
  1. Agri-Mark names Stammer new CEO
March
  1. Agri-Mark dairy farmers share $14.9 million profit
June
  1. PDF NMPF Board Adopts Multi-Faceted Proposal To Make Major Changes in U.S. Dairy Policy
September
  1. Marginal Milking Pricing Information
October
  1. PDF CWT To Focus on Exports After 2010
February
  1. PDF Rea elected to his third term as Agri-Mark Chairman
March
  1. PDF Agri-Mark dairy farmer co-op earns $11.8 million
June
  1. Agri-Mark pre-pays its dairy farmers
October
  1. PDF CWT Announces Third Herd Retirement of 2009
  2. Agri-Mark sends $2 million to struggling dairy farmers
January
  1. PDF CWT TO OFFER BRED HEIFER OPTION IN NEXT HERD RETIREMENT ROUND
  2. PDF Torn Between Two Loves; Football and Cheese
February
  1. Agri-Mark dairy co-op earns $17.6 million
June
  1. PDF
July
  1. PDF CWT Accepts Herd Retirement Bids
October
  1. PDF CWT Announces Herd Retirement
December
  1. PDF CWT Accepts 184 Bids Representing 61,00 Cows, 1.2 Billion Pounds of Milk
June
  1. Agri-Mark expects record farm milk prices
October
  1. Cabot receives a Rural Development Grant from USDA
March
  1. Allied and Agri-Mark farmers vote to come together
January
  1. Agri-Mark Farmers to Receive $11.4 Million
February
  1. Peterson elected to 13th term as Agri-Mark
April
  1. Cabot Distribution Center Nears Completion
May
  1. Allied and Agri-Mark dairy co-ops agree to work more closely together
January
  1. Agri-Mark farmers purchase McCadam Cheese business
February
  1. Agri-Mark announces $6.8 million profit
July
  1. Farm milk prices projected to jump this summer
February
  1. Agri-Mark Posts $5.7 Million Year-end Profit
  2. Peterson Elected to 11th Term as Chairman
April
  1. Farm Bill provides safety net for Farmers
December
  1. Agri-Mark set to purchase McCadam Cheese business
April
  1. Agri-Mark reports $1.9 million profit
  2. Agri-Mark farmers hold annual meeting in Vermont
October
  1. Wholesale Butter and Cheese Prices Collapse
For Immediate Release

Contact Doug DiMento
978-552-5541

Farm Bill provides safety net for Farmers

Agri-Mark dairy farmers support this legislation
Methuen, Mass. -- Agri-Mark, the region's largest dairy farmer cooperative, says it supports the Farm Bill just approved by the joint Senate and House Conference Committee as it contains a crucial farm price safety net program geared toward assisting family farms throughout the region and the nation.

Agri-Mark markets milk for 1,400 dairy farm families in all six New England states and New York, and is very active on legislative issues that affect farm income.

When farm prices collapse, dairy farms will receive a monthly payment. For an average-sized dairy farmer milking about 80 cows, this could amount to more than $10,000 per year. If market prices remain at depressed levels, the amount could be even greater (see attached table).

According to Agri-Mark economist and Senior Vice President Robert D. Wellington, "There is limit of 2.4 million pounds per farmer which is the equivalent of a farmer milking about 130 cows on a national average basis. Larger farms which support several farm families, such as parents with adult children or siblings working together, may qualify for a higher production payment limit."

Wellington says that dairy farmers have seen their milk price swing dramatically in recent years, but the majority of time the price they receive has been below their costs of production. Unlike some other types of agriculture, dairy farmers can not switch to producing a different food commodity when milk prices are low.

In fact, low farm milk prices most directly affect money available for family farm living income, because cows eat the same amount of food and require the same level of care regardless of whether the price is high or low.

The payment level to dairy farmers will fluctuate according to market prices in the same way the Northeast Dairy Compact worked for several years in the New England market. When market prices rise, government payments will fall and even disappear. However when those prices collapse, as they did last fall, the safety net prices will trigger in.

Agri-Mark Chairman and dairy farmer Carl Peterson of Delanson, N.Y., says "This is a much needed program for dairy farmers, and we are pleased that it resembles the Dairy Compact safety net program in many ways. Dairy farmers would prefer that this money come from the marketplace as it did under the Compact, instead of from government dollars, but concentration in the processing industry and the current political situation does not make that possible. This program is the next best thing and is cer - tainly needed by farmers. Farmers appreciate all the work that Vermont Senator Leahy and others in Washington have done on this important bill."

According to Wellington, farm milk prices collapsed last fall and currently are almost 20% below the average price farmers received in 2001. Consumers and the general public are usually unaware of dramatic declines in milk prices to farmers because retail prices rarely fall similar amounts.

For example, this past December the USDA minimum price that processors pay farmers for fresh drinking milk fell $.33 per gallon, yet few, if any consumers saw their milk price fall accordingly. All farmers, and particularly small to moderate size family farms, need a safety net when their price collapses.

The following table was calculated by Wellington using USDA farm and price data. It shows the economic impact for several states in the Northeast.

Contact John Majkut

 
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