Local dairy farmers convene to halt rapid decline in farms

ONEONTA – On Dec. 9, dairy farmers from across Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Sullivan counties will convene at the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) to map out ways they can increase the price for their milk and, in doing so, halt the rapid decline of farming in the region. The meeting is the next step in an extensive project CADE undertook this past year to reach out to local dairy farmers and identify new markets for them in height of the local food movement and bring local milk from the farm to its local supermarket, despite the specific industry challenges.

Since July, CADE has surveyed over 100 farmers from Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Sullivan counties and met with local processors, haulers and feed companies. At the Dec. 9 meeting, CADE will unveil its analysis of the data collected and some local, creative solutions that will give dairy farmers leverage in emerging markets and an opportunity to negotiate a fair price. Including feedback and updates from neighboring innovative dairy projects including Cayuga Milk Ingredients LLC and Hudson Valley Fresh, the report will be the foundation of a critical discussion to determine what direction Catskill-area dairy farmers want to go to sustain their family farms.

A light lunch will be provided for attendees, so please RSVP to lauren@cadefarms.org or (607) 433-2545.

CADE, the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship is a non-profit organization established in 1991 with a mission to increase the number and diversity of successful farm enterprises and related businesses in New York. CADE connects producers of farm products to markets by providing professional, individualized and confidential business and marketing consulting to agricultural entrepreneurs. Support for this project comes from the Community Foundation of South Central New York. For more information, visit cadefarms.org.

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