Dairy and the Local Food Movement

Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery and CISA, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, kicked off the Dairy Month Lecture Series on Sunday, June 3 at Barstow’s Longview Farm.

In case you missed it, we have this short recap for you:

  • While many consumers are eager to support local agriculture, many dairy farms are largely left out of the picture.
  • This is because most dairy farmers sell their milk wholesale – not doing the processing and bottling on site themselves.
  • Most dairy farms, like Barstow’s Longview Farm, are a part of a dairy cooperative.
  • Dairy farms make up 2% of the state,
  • but they account for 9% of agricultural sales
  • and steward 10% of the agricultural land in the Commonwealth!
  • Massachusetts dairies produce over 27 million gallons of milk each year
  • 20% of milk consumed statewide is from Massachusetts.
  • The average dairy farm in the state has 119 cows (Barstow’s has 510).
  • The average Massachusetts cow costs $1,975 annually.
  • And the price of milk per hundred weight in the state is $16.80.
  • Dairy farms are in trouble.

What can you do to help?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Support local farms by buying directly.  While Barstow’s doesn’t bottle their milk, you can still buy lunch, grocery items, or goodies from the bakery to help the farm sustain a future.
  • Get your daily nutrients from dairy products instead of dairy alternatives.
  • Most local grocery chains will be selling store brand milk that contains milk from New England cows.  Check out whereismymilkfrom.com to track the Plant # on dairy products.
  • Spread the word!  Share this post or tell your family and friends about what you’ve learned about local dairy!  You are a Local Hero!

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