dairy

By Diane Wyatt, founder of Green Mountain Yogurt When we first got Clover, she was barely 5 days old.  She fit nicely in the back of our minivan, looking bony and frail and in my uneducated opinion, rather small for a baby cow considering her mother had to weigh close to 1000lbs. She was awfully cute though and I couldn't help but feel pride welling up inside of me as I realized I was to become the proud mother of this needy little thing who was anxiously trying to get its next meal by sucking on my fingers.   I paid the Jersey farmer $100 while taking mental notes on what he told me she required for feed, care, housing, etc. At least I had the housing part figured out since I...
VERMONT CHEDDAR GOURGERES WITH SMOKED SALMON FILLINGfrom the kitchen of Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, VT (member of the Cabot Creamery family) For the gougères:1     cup water1     stick (8 tablespoons) Cabot salted butter, cut into cubes¼    teaspoon salt¼    teaspoon sugar1     cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour4     large eggs6     ounces Cabot sharp cheddar, grated (about 1½ cups)⅓    cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided1     teaspoon dry mustardPinch ground red pepper (cayenne) For the filling:8   ...
According to WCAX, participants at the annual UVM Extension Dairy Producers Conference on February 24 received some good news about the dairy industry: milk prices are rising and expected to remain high throughout 2011. Although the price increase offers Vermont's dairy farmers some relief, the volatility of dairy prices in recent years gives most farmers reason to proceed cautiously, noting that the market will likely continue fluctuating. Some suggest that the best way to counter this uncertainty is to establish a national dairy supply management system that would monitor milk production, thus preventing farmers from over-producing and driving prices down. More National News Mar. 1: Mark...
Do you ever wonder about buttermilk? Most people know that buttermilk is--at least it used to be--the liquid leftover from churning butter. The solid butter got all the fat, leaving the liquid buttermilk nearly fat-free. But what's the story behind buttermilk's sour tang? In the early 1930s, American farmers were literally in the dark. Nine out of ten farms had no electricity. By the time fresh cream arrived at the dairy for processing, it had fermented or soured, giving the buttermilk and the butter a distinctive tang. The Rural Electricity Administration brought power to the countryside and by the time of WWII, nine out of ten American farms were electrified. The cream could be quickly...
Foreign products that receive the USDA organic label can be found in supermarkets and natural food stores across the nation. To ensure products meet USDA organic standards, the U.S. government hires third party, independent inspectors. The USDA announced on Monday that it will ban the Organic Crop Improvement Association from operating in China because of conflicts of interest and concerns on food safety. The non-profit group has been a leading inspector of organic food for U.S. markets in China. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) “improperly used Chinese government employees to inspect Chinese farms that use state-owned land to grow...
In California, more than 6 million tons of food products are thrown away every year by farms, restaurants and supermarkets. Food shelters, on the other hand, do not have the supply to meet the ever-increasing demand. A recent examination by California Watch and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism took a close look at California’s food system to try to identify the reasons why these unwanted food products are not channelled to food banks and other organizations where donations are greatly needed. The examination concluded that many grocery stores are more likely to throw away food than to donate it to local food banks because of liability concerns. Often, stores will donate...
The U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are joining forces to investigate potential violations of antitrust laws in the agriculture industry. Attorney General Eric Holder and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Iowa last week speak to farmers, ranchers and industry leaders at a public meeting. The first of five workshops on competition and consolidation in the agriculture industry took place on Friday in front of a crowd of about 700 people. The central question to tackle is, Holder said, “Is today’s agriculture industry suffering from a lack of free and fair competition in the marketplace.” Public relations executives from Monsanto Company were also at the...
Organic dairy standards have gotten a makeover from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new guidelines, which will require that dairy producers meet more stringent criteria in order for their milk to be certified organic, will go into effect on June 17, 2010. The amendments to the National Organic Program state that animals must be pastured for at least four months of the year to be approved as organic milk producers. During the four-month grazing season, 30 percent of their diet must come from pasture grass. Dairy farms in temperate climates will be expected to pasture their cows for more than the four months specified in the guidelines. USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan stated...
Listing nutritional information on fast food could affect what parents choose for their children to eat, reports a new study to be published in the February 2010 issue of Pediatrics. The study, "Nutrition Menu Labeling May Lead to Lower-Energy Restaurant Meal Choices for Children," was conducted at a pediatric practice in Seattle, Washington. The 99 parents who participated in the study had children aged three to six years old. Participants were given photos of McDonald’s food and asked which menu items they would pick for themselves and their children. Half of the group was given menus labeled with the number of calories in each selection. Parents who saw the calorie-labeled food items...
Hannaford Supermarket has joined the effort to support dairy farmers in the Northeast by launching the "Keep Local Farms" program in its 171 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont on January 12. Locally sourced dairy products in Hannaford markets will be clearly labeled with the "Keep Local Farms" icon to help increase consumer awareness and support for local dairy farmers. Hannaford is also encouraging customers to further contribute to the "Keep Local Farms" program by providing the option to donate an additional $2 or $5 upon checkout. The Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, the New England Dairy Promotion Board and the New England Family Dairy Farm Cooperative...
Whole Foods Market is starting 2010 by giving back. Yesterday the food retailer announced the launch of a new Facebook application that encourages Whole Foods customers to post their aspirations for healthier, more socially conscious eating habits in the New Year. By completing the phrase “This is my year to…” an individual can select a food-related mantra to publish as his or her Facebook status to show support for one of three non-profit organizations. A vote for “know where my food comes from” supports the Non-GMO Project, an organization committed to the sustained availability of non-GMO choices. Voting to “eat organic” supports Mission Organic 2010, which supports a goal for each...
Nineteen inches of snow and the White House Kitchen Garden is still growing. Fresh off the success of the fall harvest, Michelle Obama's garden was prepped for the winter growing season with hoop houses just days before this weekend's record snowfall. A hoop house is constructed using metal bars and then stretching fabric or plastic tightly around the outside of the structure, creating a temporary energy-efficient greenhouse. The sun warms the hoop house, and the structure protects and insulates crops from snow and frost. Hoop houses also improve soil and water quality. Volunteers and USDA staff planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, mustard greens, chard and cabbage, as well as a crop of rye...