Milking the Cows: Dairy Farming in our Region

For more information, contact Anastasia Stanmeyer at [email protected], or at 413-429-5504.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 1, 2013—A panel discussion on dairy farming in our region will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, at Williams College, Griffin 3, 844 Main St. This free event is open to the public.

cowIn the latest issue of Berkshire Magazine, Sarah Gardner writes about traditional dairy farms—the foundation of Berkshire agriculture with few remaining in this region. There have been multiple obstacles in recent decades, including low milk prices, high feed costs, high property taxes, real-estate development pressures, loss of local agricultural services, and fluctuating milk demand. Still, milk remains the most abundant locally produced food in the Berkshires.  As one dairy farmer put it, he was milking 125 cows, sending two million pounds of milk a year down the road to a bottling or butter plant in the Springfield area—”and we were going broke.”

Who wants to work seven days a week and lose money at it? What happened, what works and doesn’t work, and what is being done to bring back and help support dairy farmers? State Agricultural Commissioner Greg Watson says that dairy farming is critical in maintaining the rest of agriculture in our region. “Dairy farmers are among the best stewards of our land,” he states in July’s Berkshire Magazine article, “Forgotten Farms.”

Farmers, state officials, and educators will join in this July 7 panel discussion. The audience also will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Greg Watson, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture
Gail Cariddi, State Representative, North Adams
Win Chenail, generational farmer, Mount Williams Dairy Farm
Suzy Konecky, creamery manager at Cricket Creek Farm
Sarah Gardner, Keep Berkshire Farming and Williams College professor
Moderator, Anastasia Stanmeyer, editor, Berkshire Magazine


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