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Comment Archives: stories: Food + Drink: Agriculture

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

If you voted for Trump as a Vermont dairy farmer, you truly deserve to lose everything. I'm so exhausted by this, "Oh, I didn't think it was going to affect ME! I thought it would affect everyone ELSE!" mentality. It is self-serving, misguided, and completely inane. The first actions that Trump took were to specifically remove the focus of immigration enforcement away from violent criminals and onto, essentially, all illegals. That means all of your workers are at risk, and if you voted from Trump, you brought it upon yourself. You get precisely nobody's sympathy.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kendra Jowers on 04/14/2017 at 1:18 PM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Seek to Make Vermont's Milk the Cream of the Industry

What about hooking this in to crowd-funding and carbon offsets markets that already exist? If people understood how powerful this can be, for sequestering carbon in soil and for lake cleanup, as well as the health benefits of pastured dairy products and the tourism value of cows on pasture, not just on the side of Cabot trucks, I think they would want to be part of it. Maybe we could even create a Champlain brand that people could buy with that virtuous feeling of helping their lake and planet. These are different times, post-election, with millions of people looking for ways to make a difference, and I know many who would like to be part of this movement. If we lead, waving dollar bills, big dairy will follow, just the way cows follow a pail of grain.
P.S. I LOVED Steve Judge's Vermont Family Farms milk, and miss it.

Posted by Jessie Haas on 03/03/2017 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

I eagerly look forward to reporter Heintz's follow-up report in, say, six months? Prediction: no, none, nil, zero, illegal immigrant dairy employees currently working in Vermont will have been deported by immigration agents (ICE) EXCEPT for those illegal immigrant dairy employees who are convicted of crimes OTHER THAN illegally entering the U.S., e.g., drunk driving, domestic assault, theft, sex crimes, etc. The so-called "new Trump immigration order" is NOT new; it is simply enforcement of U.S. Immigration law as enacted long ago by Congress. This story by Heintz is yet another example of sloppy, needlessly-alarmist reporting, i.e., "fake" news. The TRUE and accurate story is that President Obama, by Executive Order, blocked the ICE agents from enforcing the nation's immigration laws as enacted by Congress. Trump has now undone Obama's possibly unconstitutional action and reinstituted the immigration laws enacted by Congress. Fact: there are not enough ICE agents and/or detention centers and/or immigration judges to "go after" illegal immigrants whose only crime is illegal entry. Bottom line: Vermont's illegal immigrant farm workers will not be deported. Period. That's reality. If Mr. Heintz had done his job diligently and honestly, he would have reported that. I'll wager you'll get no follow-up report from him in 6 months; it would expose Heintz for what he really is: a propagandist.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by wahrheit on 02/26/2017 at 1:13 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

People don't realize that it's not that easy for mexican immigrants to come here legally. For one, 90% of asians and Canadians get approved for green cards while 66% of latins get approved. It's discrimination. And if a foreign person wants to come here legally by getting a job in the U.S., a U.S. employer has to sponser them, and show that they could not find a U.S. citizen to work for them already. The immigrant also has to meet other requirements, but you get the idea.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by StandUp on 02/25/2017 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

People don't realize it's not that easy for Mexican immigrants to come here legally. For one, 90% of asians and Canadians get approved for green cards, while 66% of latins get approved. It's discrimination. And if a foreign person wants to come here legally by working in the U.S., a U.S. employer needs to sponsor them, and that employer needs to show that they couldn't hire a U.S. citizen first. they also need to meet other requirements.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by StandUp on 02/25/2017 at 9:45 AM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Seek to Make Vermont's Milk the Cream of the Industry

These guys are a little late to the game on this. I started a farmer owned milk company and a brand of fluid milk called Vermont Family Farms back in the 1990s. The State of Vermont and the coops did everything they could to put us out of business because we dared to stand up to the dairy establishment and market a premium, BST free milk produced exclusively by sustainable Vermont dairy farms. Our farmer owners had tough standards for milk quality and land and animal care and they were paid substantially more for their milk. Annual sales of our milk had surpassed $1,000,000 dollars by 2000 when the farmer owners decided to sell the brand of milk which was eventually purchased and driven into the ground by HP Hood.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Steven A Judge on 02/23/2017 at 2:54 PM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Seek to Make Vermont's Milk the Cream of the Industry

The comments Secretary Allbee states as causing a need for change are no different than they have been for decades. His points could have been made more than once in each of the last four decades. Both conventional and organic dairy farmers have their struggles and yet both survive. There are fewer farms as counted by the government but the land being farmed, number of cows milked, etc have changed little if any. Most farms are consolidated. Instead of each family member buying their own farm they are joining together. This has made a huge difference in management styles and vacation opportunities. Having many owner/operators on a single farm can be a struggle but it does allow each to focus on their strengths instead of having to be a jack of all trades. Some owners are better at human resources, some crops and some might be more mechanically inclined. There is not a lack of young people looking to dairy as their future with passion and enthusiasm, my son being one of them.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Margaret Huessy Laggis on 02/23/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Seek to Make Vermont's Milk the Cream of the Industry

The question for Agrimark/Cabot and Ben & Jerry's is how they can profit from farmers who are losing money with every gallon of milk they sell for cheese and ice cream. We're all in this together folks. Are are we? Agrimark/Cabot needs to come to the table and figure out a way to compensate the producers for the product that makes Cabot cheese.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 02/22/2017 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Seek to Make Vermont's Milk the Cream of the Industry

Milk and cheese are baby cow fattening liquid. They are a luxury we pay an artificially low price for. Getting strong, verifiable standards on the books here in Vermont (as opposed to just "organic") and marketing that milk to co-ops and Whole Foods-type stores around the country would really help struggling farmers. Some conventional farmers won't be able to hack it in a legal environment that protects our lake, soil, and climate. That's life.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by AdamGoch on 02/22/2017 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

president Trump is not trying to get rid of immigrants he's trying to get rid of the criminals the ones that are here illegally the illegal aliens are law state that if you're a criminal you need to be punished it doesn't matter what country you're from if you're here illegally your criminal I think any person that houses or employ these people should prosecuted for aiding and abetting a criminal

9 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by pothead420 on 02/20/2017 at 7:35 PM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

You keep calling them undocumented. The real definition is ILLEGAL. If they are here illegally, then they should not be working or living in our country. Obey the law. That is all you have to fear. Countries who do not protect their borders are not really countries.

Try entering Canada or Mexico illegally and see where you end up. There are other people who want to and can milk cows. Dairy farmers need to try a bit harder to find that help, stop using the excuse you can't find anyone. Maybe try paying your help a little more.

16 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Jackie Schmidts on 02/17/2017 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

......those farms that break immigration law by employing illegals should not be given a free pass, but should be held accountable, because they steal prosperity from those farms that abide by immigration law.....

19 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Henry Parsons on 02/17/2017 at 1:17 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

I wonder what the "market hourly price" for someone (legal) to work 12 hour shifts milking cows (or growing/picking vegetables) would be? $50 per hour?

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Bud on 02/16/2017 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

This article and some of the quotes are misleading re: the **need** to milk cows. The dairy industry puts forward the false notion that cows just produce milk and without human intervention the cows would become overloaded with milk and sicken. In actuality, cows, like humans, produce milk to feed their babies and do not need humans to intervene...except that, because humans remove calves from their mothers and don't allow them to drink the milk that should be theirs, the cows have milk but no calves to drink it. Cows do not produce milk indefinitely and, just as calves are weaned from their mothers and the milk supply decreases, if milking by humans is gradually decreased the mother cow will eventually stop producing milk.

While the cultural and financial significance of the dairy industry in Vermont is important, it isn't a sustainable industry, because they rely on large taxpayer funded subsidies and underpaying/overworking their hired help, as outlined in this article. Vermont should look into other ways to foster economic vitality that create jobs with living wages and don't harm innocent mothers and babies.

27 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Lindsey83 on 02/15/2017 at 10:03 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

The mess this country now faces because we have not had boarder security for so long is unbelievable, and awful for all of us that live in this country both legally and illegally. It is not often that I praise 7days but on this story nice job presenting both sides of a very complicated issue. The farmer in the story that voted for Trump I assume cast that vote knowing that Trump is a business man first and a politician second. As a business man Trump's goal and the farmers goal are the same make money, and in order to do this the business menvironment in both of them know that to make money in business one must overcome obstacles. It's that business man attitude that will lead Trump to a,solution on immigration that works for everyone as long as he can keep politics out of it. I know lots of you think I'm nuts but you have to give things time. Trump did not win middle America because he hates farmers remember that.

15 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by citizen on 02/15/2017 at 9:16 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

Once I read the farmer that was interviewed voted for Trump, I read no more. I hope he gets what he deserves. I can't believe he admits its.

9 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by Bryan Bouchard on 02/15/2017 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

What is wrong with our priorities? The money spent in trying to catch people here working hard to do jobs that no one else can do should be spent on creating a long-term guest worker program. This would eliminate the concern about workers being undocumented and keep our much needed workers here , hopefully with some protections.

17 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Lauren Berrizbeitia on 02/15/2017 at 5:26 AM

Re: “Fear on the Farm: Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens Vermont's Dairy Industry

Both parties seem to prefer to use this as a wedge issue rather than do anything about it. Heintz points out most recent effort under Obama/Leahy and its failure. Let's not forget Bush, Jr. pushed a very similar bill in 2007, that failed in the Senate because 33 Democrats voted together to defeat it. If those 33 Democrats had voted yes, it would have passed. And it provided 2 year temporary guest worker status, what these farmers want. Guess who sided with then-Congressman Mike Pence in voting no? Bernie Sanders.

President Bill Clinton had best chance of all. He publicly and privately supported the Barbara Jordan Commission recommendations in the mid-1990's. But then, Chinese campaign donors, who were providing illegal campaign financing for his 1996 reelection, asked Clinton to drop his support for chain migration reform and other parts of the immigration bill working its way through Congress. So Clinton reneged on his commitments and cut deals with corporatist Republicans for a watered-down bill. Well-covered in papers at the time.

Lot of media attention on Trump's actions now, justifiably. But history suggests that Democrats do not actually care any more about immigrants other than using it as a wedge issue (or, in Clinton's case, as bargaining chip to raise illegal funds from foreign donors). If they did, they would have voted for Bush, Jr.'s bill in 2007 (that was heavily criticized from the right as backdoor amnesty bill). That bill even included the DREAM act as one of its sub-sections.

I'd rank G.W. Bush up there with LBJ as worst president of last 50 plus years. But on this issue, he had almost no difference from Obama. Democrats refusal to work with him suggests this is all about wage exploitation, something which campaign donors to both parties benefit from.

20 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 02/15/2017 at 12:43 AM

Re: “Got Milked?

what has happened since 2003?

Posted by Regina Mcilvain on 10/04/2016 at 6:48 PM

Re: “Sweet Deal: A Giant Sugaring Operation Banks on Maple

Vermonters have been producing Maple syrup for centuries and we do not need large a Large Company like in the North East kingdom producing large quantities of maple syrup and trying to force out the Small farms the do produce it and sell it. What i would say is send those who bought the land and send them sailing back home to CONNECTICUT

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lynette Parent on 03/30/2016 at 8:50 PM

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