Robert Starr runs again as Senator

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dairy milk robert starrDANVILLE- Vermont Senator Robert Starr is rerunning to be Senator again in the upcoming election on Tuesday. Starr has been a member of the Agriculture Committee for many years and would like to make changes to Vermont's dairy farms.

 

According to Starr, the agricultural committee has been pushing for a proposal for a change in the prices of milk so that dairy farmers can make a livable wage. In the past four years the amount of dairy farmers in the state of Vermont has decreased drastically because no one can afford to keep their farms going with such low prices of milk. For some they have switched over to being organic milk farmers in order to keep their dairy farms going. The owners of Molly Brook Farms in Danville recently changed over to organic milk this year. In the year of 2015 they started to not do so well and they wanted to make changes.

"Farmers don't get giant increases and giant decreases in their pricing, it's almost like riding a roller coaster and for the last four years our dairy farmers have had a very low milk price and so usually it only lasts a year and then you get a year or two of good pricing, but the present formula isn't working. Farmers get a cash flow of a certain amount and if the prices go to low then they have to add more cows to generate more money to cover their bills and that's why we have a real problem every time the price goes down, we get a lot of milk and that's because farmers have to add more animals more milking cows to produce the same amount of money to cover their bills so that's what we are working on right now and hopefully we will have a plan sometime in December to submit to our congressional delegation," said Starr.

One of the owners of Molly Brooks farm spoke about their experiences of transitioning from dairy milk to organic milk.

"Prior to 2014 milk prices were very low so there was a big slump and it hurt us, you know you have to borrow money to stay in business, it costs you money to be in business you don't make money. 2014 the milk prices went up you know and that was a very good year for us, we project out financially a couple of years ahead we budget we take a look at what the projected milk price is going to look like and we try to plan accordingly. We noticed that in the beginning of 2015 milk prices started to decline and rapidly we knew that we couldn't go through another bout of it costing us money to make milk we knew we had to do something proactively before it hit.It was a thoughtful process for us but, we decided to go through the route of transitioning our herd to organic.I say what you should always do is budget ahead so you don't run out of money and I think that's what the name of the game is being smart business people," said Rhonda Goodrich.

According to Goodrich the state of Vermont has lost about 66 dairy farms in total this year.

"In this year alone the state of Vermont has lost about 66 dairy farms, to me that's sad," said Goodrich.

Other candidates that Starr is running against are John Rodgers and Ron Horton.