The future of dairy in Vermont not bleak!

Micro dairy farms work because they can limit production to match demand, eliminating over production and waste through a reverse economies-of-scale milk production model. Four grazing, hillside Vermont dairy cows can supply up to 60 families with farm fresh milk. In addition, micro dairy farms require very little time to operate and do not dominate a farmer's life, allowing for diversification of farmstead income options - a perfect mix to the strong and steady localvore movement here in Vermont. Today keeping and milking four cows is no more difficult than having a couple of horses or a few sheep. And a carefully managed small herd dairy can actually be profitable!

What a wonderful opportunity we have to embrace a bright future for Vermont dairy farms - let's do it - let's bring those cows back home - happy and serving our own local Vermont towns - not just smiling in artwork. Let the future of the dairy industry in Vermont be 1,000 micro dairy farms or small herd dairies producing farm fresh milk for their local communities located throughout the state. These farmstead dairies will be milking two, four or maybe six cows on a part-time basis and providing the farmers who operate them with a solid supplemental income that, along with the milk they produce, will stay safely in Vermont.

Our cows will once again graze the fields and hillsides of Vermont and our fabled working landscape will once again truly be a working one.

Steven Judge

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