The Vermont Dairy Promotion Council and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets have partnered to launch a new website and video highlighting the economic impact of the state’s dairy industry.
The site, which features the findings of the 2015 Milk Matters report, also includes historic data, resources, and dairy farmer profiles. The accompanying video provides a topline summary of key facts from Milk Matters, and was designed to be shared through social media. Both projects were funded by Vermont dairy farmers, through the milk check-off program, administered by the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council.
“Since the passage of Act 64 last spring, we’ve been working closely with farmers to implement a new framework for protecting water quality in Vermont,” said Vermont’s Agriculture Secretary, Chuck Ross.
“This new video and website serve as an important reminder of the profound and important impact the dairy industry has on Vermont’s working landscape and economy,” he continued. “That’s why we need to implement solutions that not only restore the health of Lake Champlain, but also allow this important industry to continue here in Vermont. Both are integral to our way of life.”
The Milk Matters report, which serves as the basis for the website and video, was first released in January 2015. Recognizing the need for up-to-date data about dairy’s impact on Vermont’s economy, the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council partnered with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and Castleton Polling to quantify the impact of the industry on Vermont’s economy and communities.
Key findings from the 2015 Milk Matters report:
• Dairy brings $2.2 billion in economic activity to Vermont each year
• Dairy brings $3 million in circulating cash to the state, each day
• Dairy accounts for more than 70% of Vermont’s agricultural sales
• Annual sales of Vermont dairy products and by-products = $1.3 billion
• 63% of the milk produced in New England comes from Vermont
• The dairy industry provides 6000-7000 Vermont jobs
• Every cow brings $12,500 in economic activity to Vermont annually
• 15% of the state is covered by dairy farms, and the fields that provide their feed
• More than 80% of Vermont’s farmland is dedicated to dairy
• 66% of Vermonters report using farmland for recreation
Way of life
• 97% of Vermonters say dairy farms are important to the state
• 92% of Vermonters say dairy farms add to the beauty of Vermont
• 91% of Vermonters say dairy is important to Vermont’s way of life
“We know that dairy farms have a role to play in protecting water quality. We’ve been intensely focused on implementing Act 64, working with farmers to increase their conservation practices,” said Diane Bothfeld, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture.
“Amidst these efforts, it is also important to recognize the many ways our communities benefit from the dairy industry – from creating jobs, to keeping the landscape open and undeveloped,” she added. “These new resources will help to educate Vermonters about the many ways in which the dairy industry contributes to Vermont.”