As vermont’s milk industry continues to fall, the Canadian dairy industry is booming.


Low milk prices forced the closure of Jacques Rainville, a vermont dairy farmer.
Although vermont’s dairy farmers are experiencing some of the most recent and difficult times, their Quebec counterparts are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk and sets the prices farmers receive.
From Jacques Rainville in the Highgate Centre to saint-armand, Quebec is a short drive away. Along the way, Rainville, from Quebec, pointed out that another farm was fallow.
“Go! There are no cows, “he said. “We have another corner here, a beautiful farm, a nice little family farm, no cows. It’s sad to see it happen.”
The vermont bureau of agriculture says 12 farms have dropped out of business this year, bringing the number of dairy farms to about 750, up from about 1,100 a decade ago.
Many farmers in vermont say they are paid less than the cost of producing milk.
Like his father, Rainville had been farmed for more than 30 years. He is working in a milk truck, but he says he is still a farmer.
We visited Canada with his cousin, phil’s father, and he had a dairy farm in the nearby city of Enos.
As we approached the border with Quebec, Rainville said he thought the Canadian system – balancing milk supply and consumer demand through a production quota – provided valuable lessons for vermont.
“The answer is to manage our supply in this country to meet the needs of our people. Buyers reacted to the oversupply because they knew we had to get rid of it, and it was a downward spiral, “Rainville said.
Only a few miles from the crossing point, Hans Kaiser and his son had about 95 cows in st. armand.
The name of the farm in a tall silo next to the barn was the herpica – one of the first wildflowers of spring.
Senior Caesar is tall; He wore overalls and rubber boots, and his accent didn’t sound like Quebecois. He came here from Switzerland in the 1970s.
In the barn, six people had a close relationship with the land: kaise, two other farmers in Quebec, and Rainville and his cousin. Introduced in French and English.
Canadians actually talk to each other when explaining and praising their supply management systems.
Hans Caesar said that when he came to Canada in 1975, he was able to build a farm with his family.
“We always have this quota system,” he said. “I don’t doubt that we have the best system in the world.”
Canadian quotas can be bought and sold. They are very valuable to the average farm, millions of dollars or more. The price farmers pay is also under control: it is based on the cost of milk produced in what is considered an economically efficient farm.
The system is not funded by the government, although it has led to higher retail prices than the United States. Although quotas are expensive, Banks borrow to buy them. ‘why don’t they lend?’ said Gerald vermeeren, a Quebec farmer.
“They know you have income and they will get paid,” he said.
Farmers roughly calculate the price of the Canadian and the price of vermont.
The Quebec farmers proved to have received $24 for the equivalent of $100 milk, and a few miles above the border, Vermonter Phil Parent paid about $14 from Enosburg’s milk.
Mathematics is clear to parents.
He says the agri-mark dairy co-operative recently told him that milk prices fell in 2018. The letter included Numbers for the suicide hotline.
“So, how do you feel when you see this? I was a little surprised. I knew they meant well, but four farmers in New York committed suicide. He said. “They don’t think they have a solution. The industry is in trouble. It’s very wrong.”
Hans Kaiser and his son, John terry, run a dairy farm in SAN armand, Quebec. They say Canada’s supply management system allows them to live a better life.
John Dillon/vermont public radio.
For Jacques Rainville, the crisis hit close to home.
A few years ago, his son took over the farm when prices were high. He borrowed money to buy a sheep, but couldn’t pay his debts when the price collapsed. So he sold the cattle to a start-up dairy farm in Canada.
“I was the last man to buy his cattle,” said Phillipe Swennen of the SAN armand farm.
Swennen, 39, said that Quebec’s supply management allowed him to start farming.
“We’re from nothing,” he said. “You can ask anyone here, and today I bought two more farms, and I can produce up to 47 cows, and I’ll have 60 cows in the next six months.”
The dairy industry is a business that requires at least 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.
But the four Quebec farmers say they can balance their work so that they can take at least one day off a week, plus a holiday.
Vermeulen says he also has some things he noticed on Quebec farm.
“I don’t want to say anything, but I think you need to hear it,” he said. “To Quebec, driving in the countryside, take a look at the farm, tin can be painted, tractor was put off, the United States has a lot of very good farm, I’m not saying they are running down, in the United States but the farm is much larger than Canada. ”
At the end of the conversation, Hans Kaiser visited his barn, where about 90 holstein were lying on their beds or chewing their morning meal.
This place is very clean. Parents point out that this is about the size of his ranch in vermont.
“In terms of Numbers, we are very similar,” he said. “But I hate to say that – my place is not as perfect as his place, and we try to do what we can with what we have.”
The parents would like to work in the supply management system, just like his farmers in Quebec. But in America, where the value of the free market is valued, it is politically impossible.
About a decade ago, farmers in vermont failed through congress through a supply management system.
In the early 1980s, Roger Albert was an aide to representative Jim jaffe of vermont. Later, the vermont agriculture secretary said jaffe was very close to turning supply management into law.
But it was stopped by the dairy lobby, who predicted that the same forces would compete with it today. Allbee points out that farmers in areas where farms are still expanding, such as south Dakota, are always against production controls.
“I suspect a lot of farmers are against it because production is happening,” he said.
Congress recently added about $1 billion to fund an insurance plan to help farmers when the price of milk falls.
Jacques Rainville says it may be easier for Washington to spend a lot of taxpayer money than to adopt the Canadian system.
The story comes from New England news collaboration: eight public media companies gathered to tell stories about the changes and get support from public broadcasters.


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