Many industries have been hit hard due to the pandemic, especially Vermont’s Dairy Industry. On Wednesday, Farmers said COVID-19’s impacts have been devastating. Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbets said 14 farms have stopped milking.
“This is a significant development. most of the farms that we lost were on the small to medium,” said Tebbets.
Paul Doton is one of the many farmers who have been impacted by COVID- 19. He owns Doton Farms in Barnard Vermont.
“There has been a surplus of milk leading up to this whole situation. that has subsided a little, but there is still more milk than people are buying,” said Doton
Luckily, Doton has been able to keep his farm up and running. However, that is not the case for other dairy farmers in the Green Mountain State. He said he fears for the future of Vermont’s smaller farms who are struggling during this time.
“With the milk checks that are coming at the end of the month that may cause some others to make the same decision,” said Doton.
Tebbets said losing just one small farm can have a big economic impact and he is hoping state aid will get to farmers ASAP. Recently, Governor Phil Scott proposed $50 million in aid to the dairy industry. $40 million would go to farmers and $10 million would go to the processors. This money would come from the federal CARES act.
“It’s another farm that has to do something else. Maybe the land isn’t used for agriculture which is very important. It also means that that farm is not helping other businesses that rely on dairy, said Tebbets. “The goal is to get our farmers to the fall and keep them in business because we really can’t afford to lose too many more dairy farms it really hurts our infrastructure and it hurts our rural areas.”