The Economics of Organic Dairy Farming in New England Webinar from eOrganic

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About the Webinar

Over the past ten years, organic dairy production has been the fastest growing sector of the U.S. organic market. Spurred by increased demand for organic milk, the inventory of certified organic cows increased by 421 percent between 1997 and 2002. The USDA estimates that organic milk increased from two percent of total U.S. fluid milk product sales in 2006 to three percent in 2008. Little financial research, however, has been conducted on organic dairy agriculture. What does the financial performance of organic dairy farming in New England look like, particularly in an economy where organic feed prices and fuel prices are high and where today's economic crisis is putting tremendous financial strain on all dairy farms, including organic dairies? University of Vermont agricultural economist Bob Parsons will address the economics of organic dairy farming in New England, based on 5 years of farm financial data.

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About Bob Parsons

Dr. Robert Parsons is an agricultural economist in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. He received his MS in Agricultural Economics and Operations Research from Penn State University in 1987 and his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1995. Bob joined the University of Vermont in 2000 with an Extension and research appointment where he has conducted numerous educational programs on business management, farm business succession, dairy economics, ag labor management, and risk management. In addition, he teaches undergraduate courses, including ag policy. In 2004, Bob and a research team from Vermont and Maine received a grant from USDA CSREES to conduct the project, "Profitability and Transitional Analysis of New England Organic Dairy Farms." His presentation draws on that research and subsequent data he has collected on the area's organic dairy farms.

About eOrganic

eOrganic is the Organic Agriculture Community of Practice at Our website at contains articles, videos, and webinars for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.


Published March 18, 2010

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.