The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission,
with its membership from the six New England states, includes producers,
processors, retailers and consumer representatives. This broad participation
allows the Compact Commission to address the public interest in milk price
The Commission consists of three
members from Maine and New Hampshire and five members from Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island, all appointed by the Governors
of the respective states. There are, thus, currently 26 members on the
Compact Commission. In some circumstances, designees may also attend and
vote at Commission meetings when Commission members are unable to attend.
Officers of the
Chair: Mae Schmidle,
Consumer Representative, Connecticut
Vice Chair: Peter
Petrone, Consumer Representative, Rhode Island
Morris, Consumer Representative, New Hampshire
Durrell, Consumer Representative, Maine
At Large: Harold
Howrigan, Farmer Representative, Vermont
At Large: Charles
Arbing, Processor Representative, Massachusetts
Executive Director: Daniel
and Designee Profiles
Ms. Ferris serves as the Commissioner
of Agriculture for the State of Connecticut. Her husband, Charles D. Ferris
III, is principal member of Ferris Acres Farm L.L.C., a 140-head
dairy farm, in Newtown, Connecticut. Two sons and a daughter are also members
of the company. In 1994, the farm won the Dairy Farm of Distinction Award.
In addition to her role as Commissioner, Ms. Ferris also serves as a member
of the Board of Control of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment and
as a Trustee of the University of Connecticut. Ms. Ferris served as president
of Fairfield County Farm Bureau and was a member of the Board of Directors
for Conn. Farm. Ms. Ferris earned a Liberal Arts Degree from Western Connecticut
State University. Prior to her commissionership, she was a freelance writer
specializing in agriculture.
Mr. Jacquier has been a dairy farmer
for the past 48 years. He operates the Laurelbrook Farm in partnership
with his wife Dorothy, son Peter, and grandsons Robert and James in East
Canaan, Connecticut. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the Central
Connecticut Farmers Association.
S. Schmidle (Chair)
Mrs. Schmidle is a former State
Legislator and Town Clerk. She currently serves as a Parliamentarian from
Newtown, Connecticut where she conducts parliamentary workshops for the
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Mrs. Schmidle also serves as
a member of the Milk Regulation Board in Connecticut. In addition, she
is President of the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Western Connecticut
and serves as Chair of The Connecticut War Veterans Memorial Register
of Remembrance Commission, The Architectural Resource Survey
Committee of the Newtown Historical Society and The Children’s
Adventure Daycare Center. Mrs. Schmidle earned a B.A. in English from
the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford.
Mr. D'Alessandro is president of
Scitico Market, a family-owned business since 1948, in Enfield, Connecticut.
He serves as a member of the Connecticut Milk Regulation Board. He is currently
on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Food Association of which
he is a past Chairman of the Board.Mr.
D'Alessandro is also involved with the Knights of Columbus, the Chamber
of Commerce, the Jaycees, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.He
has also served on the Special Olympics Committee and helps to raise funds
for the Little Sisters of the Poor.He
resides in Windsor, Connecticut with his wife, Donna, and has two grown
daughters, Alison and Melissa.
Neil Marcus is the President of
Marcus Dairy, Inc., a Connecticut based processor and distributor of milk
and other dairy products in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.He
represents the third generation of a family-owned business, started on
his grandfather's dairy farm and continued by his father and brothers at
its current location.He holds a
B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from New York University
School of Law.He is a principal
of and attorney with the law firm of Cohen and Wolf, P.C. in Danbury, Connecticut. He
is active in a number of community-based organizations and currently serves
as the Chairman of the Board of Danbury Health Systems and the Danbury
Hospital.He is a trustee of the
Wooster School and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.He
chairs the Capital Campaigns of both the Women's Center of Greater Danbury
and the Redding Boys and Girls Club.He
also serves on the Connecticut Milk Regulation Board.
Hardy (At-Large Officer)
Mr. Hardy is a dairy farmer owner
from New Sharon, Maine. He has served on many agricultural boards such
as the SWC District and other dairy groups. Mr. Hardy currently serves
as a County Commissioner for Franklin County District #2 in Maine.
Mr. Spear is the Commissioner of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for the State of Maine. He previously
served eight years as a State Representative where he was chairman of the
Agriculture Committee and was a member of the Taxation Committee. He is
a third generation dairy and vegetable farmer. He performed duties as supervisor
of the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District for 20 years and
as president of the Maine Association of Conservation Districts. Commissioner
Spear has been a member of the Maine State Farm Bureau for 20 years and
a 4-H leader. He served as a selectman in Nobleboro for 16 years and the
school board for nine years. He was also a Little League coach.
Mr. Durrell grew up on a Maine
dairy farm and showed Ayrshire cattle in 4-H. He earned a B.S. degree in
Animal Science from the University of Maine in Orono. After serving as
a County Supervisor with Farmers Home Administration, USDA for 18 years,
he became an owner-broker with Village Realty Associates, Better Homes
and Gardens. He serves as Chair of the Maine Milk Commission and on boards
of the Maine Real Estate Information System and the Franklin County Childrens
Task Force. After twenty years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve,
he retired with rank of Commander. As an active member of the Professional
Ski Instructors of America, he has attained full certification (Level III).
Millay (Designee of Agriculture Department)
Millay grew up on a dairy farm in Maine, served in the U.S. Army from 1969
to 1971 and has worked for the Maine Department of Agriculture since then,
currently as the Executive Director of the Maine Milk Commission.Mr.
Millay serves on the Board of Directors of the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival,
one of Maine's Agricultural Fair events.He
has been chair of his town's budget committee since 1990.He
and his wife Debbie own a farm in Appleton, Maine and raise Polled Herefords.Mr.
Millay earned a B.S. Degree in Public Administration from the University
Mr. Arbing is Vice President of
Manufacturing & Transportation at the Stop & Shop Supermarket
Company. He formerly served as Vice President of Operations at Stop
& Shop. Mr. Arbing lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with his
wife and two children. He earned a Bachelors degree from the University
Mr. Cook, with his wife, Beth,
and son, Hank, own and operate the Cook Dairy Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts.
In addition, the Cooks produce Holstein breeding stock.
Mr. Healy is the Commissioner of
the Department of Food and Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In addition to his role as Commissioner, Mr. Healy runs the family-owned
Tavern Farm in East Charlemont, Massachusetts, the Commonwealth's oldest
privately-owned tree farm.
Ms. Kelligrew Kassler is Director
of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program for the Department
of Public Health in Massachusetts, a position she has held since 1985.
She has served as President of the National Association of WIC Directors
as well as on other board positions and is currently chair of the Association's
Legislative Committee. Ms. Kassler has also served as Deputy Director for
the Massachusetts Association of Mental Health, Director of Massachusetts
Association of Community Mental Health Centers, and mutual fund security
analyst. She holds an M.B.A. from Boston University and a B.S. degree in
economics and government from Simmons College.
Mr. Shields and his wife, Susan,
own and operate Lolans Farm in Middleboro, Massachusetts. They have
100 milk cows and 70 head of young stock. Mr. Shields is a member of Agrimark,
Inc. and serves as an elected Representative in Region #3. He also serves
on Agri-Mark’s Legislative and Education Committee. In addition, Mr. Shields
is a member of the Plymouth County Farm Service Agency Committee as well
as a member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau. He attended the University
of New Hampshire.
Mr. Cabot is the proprietor of
Meadow Farm and Fanny Mason Farmstead Cheese. In addition,
he serves as a Trustee of Franklin Pierce College, the David and Florence
Guggenheim Foundation and The Society for theProtection of New Hampshire
Forests. He is a Trustee Emeritus of
Mt. Holyoke College as
well as a Trustee Emeritus of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Mr. Cabot
has worked in various capacities in Goldman, Sachs, Oppenheimer &
Co., Dillon Read and Brenner Securities. Mr. Cabot is
married with four children and four grandchildren and lives in Walpole,
New Hampshire. He holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard.
Mrs. Erb and her husband, Doug,
own and operate a registered Holstein farm in Landaff, New Hampshire. In
1995, their farm was named New Hampshire Outstanding Dairy Farm of the
year. Mrs. Erb is a member of Agri-Mark, Inc. Region #13 where she serves
as a member of the Legislative and Education Committee. Mrs. Erb also serves
as a delegate member of the New England Dairy and Food Council. Mrs. Erb
serves as a member of the Lisbon Regional High School steering committee.
The Erbs have three children.
Dr. Doug, as he is known, earned
his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University
in 1973. He is currently a Professor of Resource Economics at the University
of New Hampshire and has been an Agricultural Economist with the Economic
Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has been an active
teacher, receiving a teaching excellence award from UNH in 1989 and a national
award in 1975 by the Joint Council on Economic Education. Most recently,
he taught at Hangzhou University, Peoples Republic of China. His research
has centered on land use issues and economic impact studies ranging from
exporting wood chips to the dairy buyout program. Dr. Doug resides in Durham,
NH with his wife Kathleen Ann.
Mr. Bettencourt is Executive Director
of the Rhode Island Farm Bureau. In addition, he is a part-time vegetable
farmer. Mr. Bettencourt is also a former Executive with the U.S. Department
of Agriculture. He holds a Bachelors degree from Rhode Island College and
a Masters degree from the University of Rhode Island.
Mr. Briggs had been a dairy owner/operator
since 1958 until he recently retired from farming. Mr. Briggs is married
with three children and lives in Foster, Rhode Island.
Alston (Designee of Attorney General)
Ms. Alston has been a Special Assistant
Attorney General with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office for over
eight years.In addition to representing
the State of Rhode Island, she is assigned as counsel to the Consumer Protection
Division of the Attorney General's Office.
Mr. Ayars serves as the Commissioner
of Agriculture for the State of Rhode Island. He has been an employee with
the Department of Agriculture since 1987. Mr. Ayars began work at the department
in the division of animal health, supervised the pesticide section for
eight years, and has worked the last eight years in the farm ecology division.
He worked in home construction prior to coming to the Agriculture Department.
Mr. Ayers earned a B.S. in Agriculture, a B.S. in Zoology and a M.S. in
Agriculture from the University of Rhode Island. He resides in Kingstown,
Rhode Island with his wife Julie and their daughter Alisabeth.
D. Newman (Designee of Agriculture
Ron Newman serves as an Agriculture
Products Inspector with the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture. Mr. Newman's
duties include marketing and inspection of agricultural products. Mr. Newman
earned a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Newman formerly
served as President of the Town Council in his community.
Petrone (Vice Chair, Designee of Health Department)
Peter Petrone earned a B.A. in
Business from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island and a M.B.A. from
the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI. He has worked for the Rhode
Island Department of Health for the past 18 years -- the last two years
in the Division of Family Health. He recently returned to the WIC program,
originally starting out there 18 years ago. Mr. Petrone resides in North
Kingstown, Rhode Island with his wife Laurie and their three children.
Mr. Couture and his wife, Pauline
own a diversified dairy and maple syrup farm, which includes a retail maple
syrup mail order business. Mr. Couture also serves as Chairman of TheVermont
Maple Promotion Board and as Vermont representative to the
Maple Syrup Institute, of which he is a past president. He is also
a voting representative for Agrimark Region #12.
Mr. Dykstra owns and formerly operated
a dairy farm with his two sons in New Haven, Vermont. In addition he serves
as Director, Secretary and Treasurer of the Independent Dairymen’s Cooperative
Howrigan (At-Large Officer)
Mr. Howrigan is a dairy farmer
who runs a family corporation with his wife and three sons in Fairfield,
Vermont. In addition, he serves as President of the St. Albans Cooperative
Creamery as well as a member of the National Dairy Promotion and Research
Board in Region 13 and Dairy Management Inc. and U.S. Dairy Export. Mr.
Howrigan is also an Executive Member and Director of the National Milk
Producers Federation Board.
Ms. Rooney is part owner and Treasurer
of Monument Farms, Inc. in Weybridge, Vermont. A family business since
1930, Monument Farms produces and processes fluid milk and distributes
dairy products. She previously served on the Vermont Economic Development
Authority in addition to other community service agencies and organizations.
Ms. Rooney earned a B.A. degree from the University of Vermont.
Mr. Starr has been a member of
the Vermont State Legislature since 1979 and serves as a member and former
Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. Mr. Starr is also President of
Starr’s Transportation. In addition, he is a member of the Troy Vermont
School Board, the Troy Zoning Board and Planning Commission as well as
the Board of Civil Authority. Mr. Starr also serves as a Trustee of the
Vermont State Colleges Board. He holds an Associates Degree in Agriculture
from Vermont Technical College.
Graves (Ex Officio Member)
Graves was appointed Commissioner of The Vermont Department of Agriculture
June 15, 1995. He was raised on a dairy farm which he leased from his parentsin
1973. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1973 with a B.S. degree
in Animal Science majoring in Animal Science and Vocational-Technical Education.
Previous to being named Commissioner he was a State Senator from Franklin
County and a Member of the Vermont House of Representatives. He is currently
President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Executive Director: Dan Smith
Mr. Smith served as founding Executive
Director of the Compact Commission, April 1996 through May, 1998, and has
served as the Commission’s present Executive Director and General Counsel
since August, 2000.From 1992 – 1996,
Mr. Smith served as the lead staff person for the Northeast Interstate
Dairy Compact Committee, which oversaw the interstate adoption and Congressional
approval of the Dairy Compact.
Mr. Smith was a member of the Vermont
Legislative Counsel, 1987 – 1992.While
serving as staff to the Vermont Legislature, he co-drafted the Dairy Compact,
with staff counterparts from New York, Massachusetts and Maine, in 1987
– 1988.Mr. Smith served as law
clerk to the Honorable Frederic Allen, Chief Justice, Vermont Supreme Court,
and as the Court’s Chief Clerk.He
received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1985 and his
B.A. from Dartmouth in 1978.
Mr. Smith resides in Calais, VT,
with his wife, Flor.