The St. Albans Co-Op Merger And How It Could Change Vermont's Dairy Industry

Jul 2, 2019

More than 330 farmer-owners of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery face a major decision this month: they'll vote on a proposed merger between their century-old cooperative and the 14,000-member Kansas-based Dairy Farmers of America. We're talking about the proposed merger and what it could mean for dairy farmers and Vermont's dairy industry.

Harold Howrigan Jr., chair of the St. Albans Co-op board and a Sheldon dairy farmer whose family runs four 300-cow diaries, joins Vermont Edition to explain the proposed merger and the challenges within the dairy industry that have led to a possible merger.

We'll also hear from Julie Wolcott of Green Wind Farm in Fairfield. A St. Albans Co-op member for more than 25 years, she shares her questions and concerns about how the merger might affect small and organic dairy farms.

And we'll hear from Jackie Folsom, legislative director of the Vermont Farm Bureau, about what the merger could mean for Vermont's dairy industry more broadly, and about her own experience as a member-farmer during the 1992 Cabot Co-op merger with AgriMark.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.