Support the news

Big Worries In Vermont’s Dairy Industry47:39Download

Play

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Fears on the farm. How President Trump’s immigration crackdown could impact Vermont’s dairy industry.

A milk cow stands in her stall at the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT. (Lisa Rathke/AP)
A milk cow stands in her stall at the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT. (Lisa Rathke/AP)

Vermont is probably not a state you’d think of in the conversation about immigration and border security. But the state’s multi-billion dollar dairy industry relies on undocumented agriculture workers to milk and more. President Trump’s executive orders and tough talk have undocumented workers scared. And farmers don’t know what they’ll do without a reliable workforce. This hour On Point, Vermont, agriculture, and immigration.

Guests

Kathleen Masterson, reporter for the New England News Collaborative, based at Vermont Public Radio. (@kathmasterson)

Kristi Boswell, director of Congressional relations for labor, immigration and food safety at the American Farm Bureau Federation. (@kristiboswell)

Abel Luna, organizer with Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based advocacy group focused on human rights and fair labor issues for farm workers.

Anne Thompson, On Point listener. Anne proposed today's topic via the On Point Listens page.

From The Reading List

VT Digger: Undocumented On The Farm — "The presence of foreign-born migrant workers like Carlos is just the latest transformation of Vermont agriculture. A century ago, the state was 70 percent cleared agricultural land, 30 percent forest. Today, the ratio is approximately reversed. Older Vermonters still remember when, in the 1940s, some 11,000 small, family farms the dotted the land. Kids hand-milked fawn-brown, doe-eyed Jerseys before breakfast and then hitched rides to one-room schoolhouses on the beat-up trucks or horse-drawn wagons that hauled metal jugs of milk — topped with unctuous, yellow cream — to central collecting stations."

Vermont Public Radio: Farmworker Advocates Confront Ben & Jerry's Board Members To Protest Labor Conditions -- "Protesters with Migrant Justice confronted Ben & Jerry's board members outside the South Burlington office Tuesday morning, aiming to pressure the company to wrap up negotiations on an agreement that would outline minimum wages and labor conditions for dairy workers."
Washington Post: Trump administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force -- "The Trump administration is quickly identifying ways to assemble the nationwide deportation force that President Trump promised on the campaign trail as he railed against the dangers posed by illegal immigration."

Propose Your Own Local Topic As Part Of #OnPointListens

This program aired on April 13, 2017.

+Join the discussion
Share
TwitterfacebookEmail

More from On Point

Support the news