Dairy Good: Rotarians Raise Money to Save Milk From Being Dumped | True 802 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your support!

Dairy Good: Rotarians Raise Money to Save Milk From Being Dumped 

Published June 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

click to enlarge Ploughgate Creamery butter - COURTESY OF THE AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS
  • Courtesy Of The Agency Of Agriculture, Food And Markets
  • Ploughgate Creamery butter

When Martin Cohn heard the state was purchasing raw milk from struggling farmers to process into goods for the Vermont Foodbank, he pulled out his proverbial Rolodex to try to help.

Cohn has amassed plenty of contacts in his 15 years as a member of the Brattleboro Rotary Club, including a one-year stint as club president in 2012. The group is one of 100 Rotary clubs in Vermont and is part of Rotary International, a volunteer service organization whose members work together to solve problems in their communities.

Cohn's calls paid off. In just 10 days, Rotary clubs and members from around the state donated more than $10,000 to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Market's milk recovery program. That donation, plus a $60,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, kept 32,000 gallons of milk from going down the drain. The haul will be processed into 48,000 cups of yogurt, 11,500 gallons of 2 percent milk and 440 pounds of butter that will be distributed at the foodbank in Barre.

Holy cow.

"As Rotarians, we are part of the community," Cohn said. "This is just a great example of being able to collaboratively help the public."

The state ag agency started the milk recovery program in May to help farmers who were forced to dump milk when COVID-19 shuttered schools and restaurants. Instead of being wasted, the surplus is being processed by HP Hood in Barre, Green Mountain Creamery in Brattleboro and Ploughgate Creamery in Waitsfield. Dairy giant Cabot Creamery is trucking the goods to the foodbank, where demand has doubled during the pandemic.

Ten Rotary clubs contributed to the effort, including those in Manchester, Wallingford and White River Junction. Many drew on funds earmarked for charitable causes, according to Cohn, who hit up his former club first. "I know where the money's hidden," he said with a laugh.

Carla Lineback, the current president of the Brattleboro Rotary Club, was happy to help.

"I don't like the idea of waste [or] the idea of people going hungry when there's something literally thrown out," she said, adding: "It's something where we could easily make a difference."

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Courtney Lamdin

Courtney Lamdin

Courtney Lamdin is a news reporter at Seven Days; she covers Burlington. She was previously executive editor of the Milton Independent, Colchester Sun and Essex Reporter.


Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2023 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation