Earl Ransom: Big Dairy Always Intended To Exploit Small Farms
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#063: Dairy farmer Earl Ransom, who owns and operates Strafford Creamery along with his wife Amy,  recalls the history of the organic milk market in Vermont. Here he shares the good price times, the bad price times, and how corporate interests and ownership came in and engineered the market to their liking. Although Earl and Amy bottle their milk on the farm and sell direct to customers, they are not immune to the market trends that keep prices low and farmers underpaid. Earl Ransom grew up at Strafford Creamery, a 600-acre organic dairy farm that produces 6 types of milk in glass bottles, including chocolate and old-fashioned cream line, half-and-half, and a dozen (very popular!) ice cream flavors. Breeding, tending, and milking Guernsey cows, Earl and his wife Amy are well known throughout the Vermont organic dairy farming community for their knowledge of cow care, rotational grazing, and crop management. To watch a video version of this podcast with access to the full transcript and links relevant to our conversation, please visit: https://www.realorganicproject.org/earl-ransom-big-dairy-exploits-small-farms-episode-sixty-three The Real Organic Podcast is hosted by Dave Chapman and Linley Dixon, engineered by Brandon StCyr, and edited and produced by Jenny Prince. The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement working towards certifying 1,000 farms across the United States this year. Our add-on food label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce, and pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs from products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs - confined animal feeding operations). To find a Real Organic farm near you, please visit: https://www.realorganicproject.org/farms We believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be, but that the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing the ability for small farms who adhere to the law to stay in business. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but still paying a premium price. And the lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront. If you like what you hear and are feeling inspired, we would love for you to join our movement by becoming one of our 1,000  Real Friends: https://www.realorganicproject.org/real-organic-friends/ To read our weekly newsletter (which might just be the most forwarded newsletter on the internet!) and get firsthand news about what's happening with organic food, farming and policy, please subscribe here: https://www.realorganicproject.org/email/
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