For Immediate Release

Dec. 16, 1999

Contact David Ferch

(802) 229-1941


CONCORD, NH -- The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission has elected a new slate of officers, including Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Linda Smith Dyer as Chair.

The new officers, who will begin their terms on January 1, 2000, include Ms. Dyer as chair, Mae Schmidle of Connecticut as vice chair, Mary Kelligrew Kassler of Massachusetts as secretary, Powell Cabot of New Hampshire as treasurer, Aaron Briggs of Rhode Island as at-large member and Harold Howrigan of Vermont as at-large member. Ms. Dyer, Mrs. Schmidle, Ms. Kassler are consumer representatives, Mr. Cabot is a processor representative and Messrs. Briggs and Howrigan are producer representatives. The vote, which was unanimous, was held at the Commission's monthly meeting in Concord, N.H. on Dec. 1, 1999.

Ms. Dyer, who replaces Mrs. Schmidle of Connecticut as chair, was appointed to the Commission in October. Prior to joining the Maine Department of Agriculture in July 1999, Ms. Dyer, was in private law practice for nearly 20 years, where she specialized in legislative representation and administrative law and represented a group of dairy farmers. She is the immediate past president of the Maine State Bar Association and serves on the Winthrop Town Council.

"When Congress reauthorized the Northeast Dairy Compact, it affirmed the importance of the Commission in helping ensure a stable and viable dairy economy in the Northeast," said Dyer. "It is an honor to be given the opportunity to work with consumers, producers, handlers and processors to ensure their interests are addressed in the most open and efficient manner possible."

Mrs. Schmidle, a former Connecticut State Legislator and town clerk, was recognized by the Commission for her efforts in guiding the Compact Commission through an important phase of development that included reauthorization by the U.S. Congress and some of the most volatile price fluctuations in the history of the milk market.

"I have been honored to serve the Northeast Dairy Compact which has proved to be such an important vehicle for stabilizing consumer prices as well as providing much needed assistance to the dairy farmers and the economy at large," said Mrs. Schmidle.

Ms. Kassler, director of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, is currently the Commission's treasurer and will become the secretary. Mr. Cabot, proprietor of Boggy Meadow Farm and Fanny Mason Farmstead Cheese, currently serves as secretary and will assume the role of treasurer.

Mr. Briggs is a lifetime dairyman from Rhode Island. Mr. Howrigan is a dairy farmer and president and chairman of the board of the St. Albans Co-op Creamery. Mr. Howrigan is also an Executive Member and Director of the National Milk Producers Federation Board.

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