For Immediate Release                                                                           Contact: Dan Smith

April 10, 2001                                                                                               (802) 229-1941


Northeast Dairy Compact Commission Holds Fifth Anniversary Annual Meeting;   Senator Jeffords, Congressman Sanders and Governor Dean in Attendance

The annual meeting of the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission marking the fifth anniversary of the Compact’s establishment will be held tomorrow in Vermont.  Beginning with this meeting in Vermont, the Commission will be hold its monthly meetings in each of the six New England states to correspond with the schedule for the Congressional re-approval process.

Senator James M. Jeffords, Congressman Bernard Sanders, Governor Howard Dean and a representative of Senator Patrick J. Leahy will be in attendance after lunch, and discuss the Compact Commission’s operations with members of the Commission as part of the meeting.

“The Dairy Compact has been my primary legislative initiative for 14 years,” said Compact Commissioner Bobby Starr, former long-time Chair of the Vermont House of Agriculture and one of the Compact’s original legislative sponsors. “The Compact Commission has fulfilled my expectations with its work these past five years,  and I am proud to be celebrating this milestone in Vermont where it all began.”

Since taking effect in 1997, the Compact price regulation has returned $140 million to dairy farmers in New England and New York who supply the New England marketplace. 

“There is no question the Compact has had a positive impact on dairy farms and rural economies throughout the northeast,” said commission member Harold Howrigan.

“The Compact is subject to Congressional review this year,” said Executive Director Dan Smith. “The Commission is presently devoting its primary resources toward preparing a Compact Impact Report for presentation to Congress to assist with its review.  We will outline the report at tomorrow’s meeting and present some preliminary analysis.”

 At 2 p.m. Governor Dean’s weekly press conference will immediately follow the meeting. He will be joined by the Vermont Congressional delegation, Compact Commission chair Mae Schmidle and by the Vermont Commission delegation.

“I am extremely pleased with the progress of the Compact and what it has been able to do for New England’s consumers, producers and processors,” said Schmidle. “I’m proud we’ve been able to overcome any and all of the legal challenges. I look forward to much more progress in the next five years.”

The meeting will be held in the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 100 State Street, Montpelier beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11.

If you have any questions about this press release or the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission, please contact Dan Smith at (802) 229-1941.