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Agriculture / Conservation News
April 2010 Ag News

By Ernest Finch, Agriculture Director

  APRIL 2010 --

I hope all Grangers read the February report that Dan Mutchler wrote about raw milk. He did a good job telling the story. The reason I am talking about raw milk is many farmers across the U.S. are trying to sell this milk to the public directly, doing away with the middle men. As I have said before, the dairy farmers were hit hard in 2008 and part of 2009. Things are getting a little better now.

In 2008 the price of milk dropped from $15 per 100 lbs., down to $9 per 100 lbs. The picture looks a little better now that it is back to around $15 which is not enough, because the price should be $20 per 100 lbs. or more. Farmers were making milk at the cost of $3.50 and getting paid $1.00 per 100 lbs. this was a bad thing around the country that many farmers killed themselves. A farmer in New York State was so distressed about the market, that one day he went to his barn and killed 51 cows, then himself. His wife is trying to keep the farm going. Good luck. So much for bad news. Let's look at the bright side of living.

Here in Connecticut, the Women's Agricultural Network was formed in the spring of 2006 in Elaine Frost's kitchen at Frostfire Farm in Goshen, CT. They call it WAGN. This is a support system to help women that are farming or planning to start a farm. Farms operated in the northeast are small in scale with 50% under 50 acres. CT is in a growth mode for numbers of farms, with the 2007 USDA data showing a 17% growth in the number of farms, to 4,917. CT has 2, 928 women operating farms, with 1,466 as the principal operators. CT ranks in the top 10 states with women as farm operators with sales nearly $29 million.

Farmers learn ideas on pricing their products as it may be a long time before pricing changes take effect. Farmers need to work together to help each other.

here was a forum to teach milking a family cow, healthcare, small farm construction, and training animals. This was held at the Congregational Church in Cornwall.



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