Lawmakers Hear Pros and Cons of Proposed Dairy Co-Op Merger

MONTPELIER, Vt. — A proposed merger between a nationwide group and one of Vermont’s oldest independent dairy cooperatives that provides most of the milk used by the state’s iconic ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry’s, was lauded Monday by proponents who say the move would provide the co-op with much needed cash.

But people wary of the proposal that would merge Vermont’s 100-year-old St. Albans Cooperative Creamery with the Kansas-based Dairy Farmers of America say farmers are being asked to cast their ballots without all the information about what the merger would mean for them.

The two sides made their cases Monday in front of state lawmakers, who have no say in the merger but organized the hearing to understand what’s at stake.

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