- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross says he’s optimistic about the future of the state’s dairy farmers.

Speaking Tuesday at the 15th annual Vermont Dairy Producers Conference in South Burlington, Ross said the forecast for milk prices is to remain high and the state has doubled the number of milk processors since 2008.

Ross also says dairy farmers have a group looking at issues of water quality and a new program to help address economic and environmental issues.

He says nearly $40 million has been invested by the dairy industry.

And he noted that Vermont, Quebec and France are the world’s top producers of artisanal cheeses.

He says there are still challenges ahead, such as addressing pollution that goes in to Lake Champlain.

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