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Vermont Farmers Look North Of The Border For Solution To Dairy Crisis

Jacques Rainville farmed in Highgate Center but low milk prices forced him out of business. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Jacques Rainville farmed in Highgate Center but low milk prices forced him out of business. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk and sets the price farmers receive.

It’s a short drive from Jacques Rainville’s place in Highgate Center to St. Armand, Quebec. And along the way, Rainville, whose family came from Quebec, points out yet another farm gone fallow.

“Gone! No cows here,” he said. “We’ve got another one on the corner here, beautiful farm, nice little family farm. No cows. It’s sad to see it happen.”

The state Agency of Agriculture says 12 farms have gone out of businesses this year, bringing the number of working dairy farms down to around 750 compared to about 1,100 a decade ago.

Visit VPR for the full story.