The Social and Environmental Costs of Milk Production: Trends and Resistance in Vermont



The power of social institutions to influence patterns of behavior is evident in the dairy industry. Secondary data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) show that dairy operators adapt to market pressures by expanding the size of their herds and/or adopting technologies that intensify milk production. A grounded theory approach using primary data collected in interviews with organic dairy operators reveals active resistance to the power imposed upon them by social institutions.