New England dairy farms are in crisis. We’ve lost over 66% of our region’s dairy farms over the past 30 years due to low milk prices and high feed, energy and labor costs. For the first time ever, Vermont has less than 1,000 dairy farms. It’s depressing news, but HUHDS is trying to help.
In 2009 , HUHDS teamed up with Keep Local Farms to help raise money for New England dairy farmers through the sale of milk cartons in our cafes. For each milk carton that is sold, ten cents is given to local dairy farms. Although that doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds up. Since 2009, HUHDS has donated $7,455 to New England dairy farmers. HUHDS is also proud to be the first university to partner with Keep Local Farms, lending credibility to the program and helping it to expand.
But that’s not all we do:
- All milk served in the undergraduate dining halls is from New England farms. We also serve local cheese in the dining halls and for catered events.
- The Food Literacy Project, in collaboration with Keep Local Farms, sponsors trips to dairy farms and an annual local cheese tasting (this year we were thrilled to have Allison Hooper of Vermont Butter and Cheese as our guest cheesemaker).
- FLP organizes cheese making classes for undergraduates.
- Our farmers’ market has three local cheese makers, Fiore de Nonno (mozzarella), Ruggles Hill Creamery (farmstead goat cheese), and Narragansett Creamery (many varieties).