In partnership with the New England Dairy & Food Council, our RI Farm to School team is excited to host the Third Annual Dairy Contest! All Rhode Island elementary and middle school students, grades K through 8, are invited to submit original artwork or stories that answer the question:
Why do Rhode Island dairy farmers rock?
Dairy farmers are some of the hardest-working farmers out there! Draw or write about why Rhode Island dairy farmers are so moo-velous.
WHO: All Rhode Island students grades K through 8
HOW: Teachers and parents, help your child(ren) submit their entries via email to our Farm to School team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN: Entries must be received by April 21, 2018. All submissions will then be reviewed by our panel of judges. Only one student per school can win.
- Field trip to Wright’s Dairy Farm in North Smithfield, RI
- Local dairy party pack
- Calf visit to their school!
|New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC) is a nonprofit nutrition education organization supported by the dairy farmers of New England and Eastern New York. Staffed by registered dietitians, the organization works in five New England states to ensure that health professionals, scientists, media, child nutrition professionals, and educators have a credible body of nutrition knowledge upon which to educate or base health recommendations and school programs. Learn more at newenglanddairycouncil.org.|
Learn More About New England Dairy Farming in 2018
Red barns, sky-scraping silos and green open space as far as the eye can see. It’s this iconic scenery that makes the New England landscape as unique as its residents. And, it’s local dairy farmers that preserve this land for all of us to enjoy.
— “There’s a lot to learn about dairy sustainability,” New England Dairy & Food Council website
One of Rhode Island’s last nine dairy farms, which has been in the same family for 118 years and is recognized as a model of outstanding dairy practices, is looking to find new homes for its cows. The farm, which has kept up with technology and survived all the forces that reduced the state’s count of nearly 400 dairy farms in the early 1950s to the single digits today, has crushing debt and can no longer keep the dairy business going.
— “One of R.I.’s last nine dairy farms can no longer afford to keep its cows,” by Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, March 2018
Experts say farmers face a kind of “perfect storm” of financial pressure and a sense of powerlessness in an industry where prices are set by the government, combined with social isolation, and a self-reliant spirit that may make them loathe to seek help.
— “As Milk Prices Decline, Worries About Dairy Farmer Suicides Rise,” by Tovia Smith, All Things Considered, February 2018
[Dairy] farmers are facing their fourth year of payments well below their cost of production, due in part to a national and global oversupply of milk.
— “Suicides prompt outreach to Northeast dairy farmers,” by Lisa Rathke, Associated Press, March 2018