This is the season for giving thanks, and we’d like to add our sincerest thanks to a wonderful group — our New England dairy farmers.
We’ve yet to encounter a more dedicated, innovative, entrepreneurial group of hard-working men and women. These fine folks spend their days and nights – we’re talking every day and every night – working their herd, doing their chores, and producing the high-quality, nutritious, delicious milk we serve at the family table.
We also give thanks that New England dairy farmers not only produce a quality product, but that dairy farming contributes to our local, state and regional economies and to a quality of life that is more valuable than any price tag.
Milk doesn’t stay on the farms—where milk goes, jobs follow. In addition to providing and distributing nutritious products, the dairy industry generates substantial economic benefits at the local, regional and national levels through employment, local tax revenues and purchases of products and services. Jobs follow milk as it moves from farm to processing, distribution and retail, and jobs are also created within the supply and service sectors that support the industry.
Dairies support the economic well-being of rural America. Every dollar spent locally by a dairy farmer creates a multiplier effect of more than two and a half times the original dollar spent. It may surprise many that the estimated overall economic impact of the U.S. dairy industry – farming through processing – is $313 billion in economic output, $64 billion in household earnings, and 1,532,000 jobs. Even under the nation’s current economic challenges, dairy farmers and companies are a lifeline to 900,000 jobs in the United States.
Most importantly, New England dairy farmers can take credit for some of the scenic beauty that makes this region so beautiful and so unique. And that is no small thing.
So let’s hear it for cows grazing in green pastures, ice cream, red barns dotting the countryside, and milkshakes. Let’s hear it for farm families who for generations remain committed to the land and a special way of life.
They’re the reason we can begin our day with a glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, or a bowl of cereal, a good start made possible by men and women who won’t be defeated by a spell of bad weather or changing consumer fads.
Thank you, all!