MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Federal immigration officials are cracking down on Vermont dairy farmers asking them to provide records to prove their workers are legal.

Kelly Loftus, a spokeswoman for the state Agency of Agriculture, says immigration officials visited four farms on Thursday. She says the news creates another level of anxiety and stress for the state's dairy farmers, many of whom are on the brink because of low milk prices.

Dairy farmers in Vermont and elsewhere have turned to imported help because of the difficulty hiring people locally to do the work.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he disappointed that this comes at a time when dairy farmers are struggling.

Immigration officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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