Regeneration Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Regeneration Vermont 
Member since Mar 13, 2019


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Re: “Who Wants to Work on a Vermont Dairy Farm? A Reporter Spent a Week Finding Out

While it's great Seven Days has pulled back the curtain and given its readers a much-needed look at the harsh realities of Vermont's large, confinement dairies, there's a whole lot more to this story. First and foremost, it needs to be pointed out that while farmers like the Vorstevelds are being paid less than the cost of production, forcing them to make all kinds of cost-cutting measures that negatively impact workers, cows and the environment, the big dairy processors like Cabot Creamery and Ben & Jerry's are enjoying huge profits (nearly a billion dollars a year in sales for both of them currently). It's this kind of economic exploitation and concentration of wealth by corporate monopolies that fuels our chronic dairy dilemma.

Our CAFO Dairy Watch project, which monitors conditions at these "concentrated animal feeding operations," has documented the health and environmental violations at the Vorsteveld Farm, including numerous antibiotic residue violations, both in the milk it was attempting to ship and in culled animals sent for slaughter and the meat supply.

Here, for example, is what the FDA said about the farm when they were cited for sending five calves for slaughter that had extremely high levels of antibiotic residues: "Our investigation also found that you hold animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply."

It's time for Vermont to get serious about its dairy death-spiral, and come up with a real plan to help these farms transition away from the cheap, commodity model that is its broken foundation and towards methods and crops that do not exploit farmers, farmworkers, cows or the environment.

You can find our plan at RegenerationVermont.org.

27 likes, 36 dislikes
Posted by Regeneration Vermont on 03/14/2019 at 8:54 AM

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