Rotary Log for October 4, 2018
What a pleasant surprise to have our "kind of a big deal" Vice President greet us at the raffle table today. Amazingly, he offered us free samples of Cabot cheese as we checked in. Can't wait for his presidency!
Lots of guests and one visiting Rotarian on this beautiful autumn day. Lots of announcements as well. Our club donated $500 to the United Way and $1000 more to cover former President Butch's Pan Mass challenge ride. Our speakers very kindly brought a box of cheese to auction off. Of course resident auctioneer Walter Liff did the honors, raising about $25 for the box. A large, inflated, cow was at the greeting table and our guest speakers agreed that it could be auctioned, too. Good for $35! Walter really knows how to mooooove an auction!
Club historian Jon gave a Rotary history moment which revealed that on October 1, 1959, there was no Log writer! This, it seemed, was a fineable event for whomever was in charge of Log writers…
Finemaster Neil fined just about everybody, but his specialty was going after new members… Well, not exactly the new members themselves. Instead, he went after those who share the same occupations as the new members. Very clever. He also fined Log Editor John Rice because the Log editor, on October 1, 1959, failed to have a back-up. It makes sense that someone had to pay for that transgression!
The raffle was $49 with no match.
Our guest speakers hailed from Agri-Mark family dairy farms. Catherine de Ronde explained that Agri-Mark is a consortium of dairy producers around New England. One of their farms is Cabot cheese. Turns out, Catherine was the one that brought the Cabot cheese samples that were on the greeting table. Our VP had absolutely nothing to do with them (except to take advantage of the situation.)
Catherine explained that the price of milk is a complicated subject. While its all about supply and demand, much depends on whether people are looking for non-dairy products. Prices could hang on whether Michelle Obama chooses to have milk alternatives in schools or foreign governments adjust subsidies.  Further, some milk products may suddenly come in vogue. Then again, people may stray away from margarine and head back to real butter. Farms could consolidate and become more efficient.  
And a whole host of other factors. The production of milk certainly has a huge impact on the greater economy. Those affected by the milk industry include truckers, fertilizers, stores, veterinarians, container manufacturers, and just about everybody else!
Catherine's job is to promote dairy, and she seems to be doing a very good job. Rotarians had a whole lot of questions. One of the questions was how many farms we have lost. Catherine said that while there were thousands in the 1950s, there are now 90 left in New Hampshire.  But these operations are bigger and more efficient than in the past. Another question surrounded subsidies. While New Hampshire does have a subsidy available, it has only been used twice in recent history. There are currently no subsidies being used today.
Cabot cheese, interestingly, is a major supporter of Rotary. In fact, they have their "department of gratitude" in which Cabot states that Rotary reflects the values of family farmers. Cabot’s award-winning cheddar is given out as gift boxes for volunteer appreciation days, fundraisers and other special events. Cabot has helped many, many Rotary clubs in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, California, Florida and others.
Thank you, Cabot!
Respectfully submitted, Jon Flagg
Photos by Jim Rini