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County dairy farm's days appear to be numbered

April 28, 2010
LANCASTER — The county commissioners laid the groundwork at their April 21 meeting to begin to prepare to sell the county farm's dairy herd in West Stewartstown.

The commissioners agreed that they should call in Nash Equipment Inc. of Colebrook to inventory and appraise all the equipment. Which pieces to keep and which to sell could be determined at a later date when plans for what to do with the place is decided, chairman Burnham "Bing" Judd said. The farm employs two farm workers, plus a superintendent Patrick Giroux, the bulk of whose salary is charged to the CoŲs County Department of Corrections.

Most days, three sentenced inmates work in and around the barn under Mr. Giroux's supervision.

One or two cattle buyers will also be asked to come up with a rough idea of what the herd is worth.

The barn would likely have to be pulled down, chairman Judd said.

Milk prices have slid back down from a $14 per hundredweight range closer to $13, said county administrator Sue Collins, noting that this slippage had not been predicted by Agri-Mark.

Depressed prices paid to farmers for milk made 2009 the dairy industry's worst since the Great Depression, experts say. But costs of many products, such as fuel, feed, and fertilizer, rose.

A select number of the CoŲs delegation of state representatives, headed up by its chairman Rep. Robert Theberge of Berlin, plus the county commissioners plan to meet to discuss the county farm's future when the legislative session is not as hectic as now.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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