Agribusiness: A New Cash Cow

Organic dairy farming used to be about saving the earth. Now it's about saving the family business--one farm at a time

Rick Letourneau lost so much money as a conventional dairy farmer that he had to sell all his cattle and burn furniture to heat his house. Today, though, he proudly shows off his three dozen lowing, impatient cows as they wait their turn to give it up to a mechanical milker. He nods toward the new mudroom and double-hung windows and pale yellow siding on his home and talks about building two more winter shelters for the livestock. And he plans to keep improving his 85-acre spread near North Troy, Vt., with financing from his local bank. "The vice president told...

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