For Immediate Release Contact: Dan Smith

February 25, 1998 (802) 229-1941

Northeast Dairy Compact Commission Conducts Cost of Production Study:

Over 1,500 Dairy Farmers to be Surveyed

As part of its rulemaking process, the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission is sending out a comprehensive study on the costs of production to a random sampling of dairy operations in the New England States and Eastern New York. Approximately 1,520 surveys will be sent to producers during the first week in March.

Bill Zweigbaum, Compact Commission member from New Hampshire and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Cost of Production, today encouraged farmers to take the time to complete the surveys. "Because each farm represents many others, it is vitally important that farmers take the time to complete and return these surveys once they are received. Each farmerís input assures that the random sample provides an accurate picture of dairy farms in New England and Eastern New York, as a whole."

The survey asks for information about the farm operation, such as its type of business organization, size and expenditures. Some of the questions ask for information that may be inadequately described in other cost of production estimates, such as the amount of unpaid labor or lack of benefits for farm operators. All sections of the survey are important to the results.

Mr. Zweigbaum said, "It will be most useful to the Compact Commission if each survey is filled out as completely as possible. The survey will take a little time to complete, but the information is of critical importance to the dairy industry. This project could produce some new insights into the financial aspects of dairy farming in the Northeast.

All responses to the survey are confidential. The compact Commission is bound by Federal law and cannot release proprietary information about any individual farm at any time.

If farmers have any questions regarding the survey, they may contact their State Department of Agriculture (names and phone numbers are listed in the survey cover letter) or the Chair of the Cost of Production Study Committee, Commissioner William Zweigbaum at 603-862-4631.

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