Uniting Farmers for Collective Success
One of the Country’s Oldest Has Made its Mark in the New England Dairy Market
Agri-Mark Cooperative, headquartered in Methuen, Massachusetts has been in continuous operation since 1913, marketing milk for farm families under a variety of names. Over the years, what started as a cooperative of 35 farmers has grown to include 1,285 farming families in upstate New York and all six New England states.
Agri-Mark manufactures dairy products in four plants: Chateaugay, NY; Middlebury, VT; Cabot, VT; and West Springfield, MA. The farmers’ investments in these facilities in the past 20 years exceeds $100 million dollars. The cooperative now employs 1,017 full-time workers throughout its manufacturing and sales system, having added 382 employees to its team since 2006.
The cooperative’s plants fuel two member-owned consumer brands: Cabot Creamery and McCadam, both of which have won every major award for taste including Cabot’s recent best of class win in the World Championships in Wisconsin. Through these allied brands, Agri-Mark is developing unique ways to connect with and support its communities. For example, Cabot Creamery is providing financial and instructional support for a University of Vermont program that connects students with local business owners to jointly develop marketing plans. In the process, Agri-Mark’s members are helping the state’s sustainable community economic development efforts.
The farm families who own Agri-Mark maintain roughly 389,461 acres on their own farms and an additional 158,38 acres are leased for crops. Their labor sustains more than a quarter of a million head of cattle. In their communities, they employ the services of thousands of workers, veterinarians, grain suppliers, machine operators in addition to their own staff. In 2011, Agri-Mark paid $761,000 in corporate taxes, returning more than $13.8 million to the farmer owners as profit.