Here’s an excerpt from a recent story by James Haggerty, from the Times-Tribune titled “Area dairy farmers give up livelihood as production costs rise”: Actually, we should note that the headline writers have gotten it wrong here. It’s not that production costs rose, it’s that wholesale prices to farmers fell dramatically. Some reports attribute this to increased and unauthorized use of imported Milk Protein Concentrate replacing local fluid milk purchases.
“WAYMART: The bulk milk tank sits empty in the barn at Don and Christina Salak’s farm after a 100-year, three-generation family tradition of dairy production.
“It’s not easy to sell your herd. It hurts,” Mr. Salak, 65, said as he leaned against a conveyor at the couple’s 160-acre tract, where his grandfather’s father milked cows before him. “You come into the barn and it’s empty.
“I cried the first day. I did this all my life.”
Mrs. Salak, 58, who grew up on a Ledgedale dairy farm before the couple married 35 years ago, strolled through the barn and reflected on the transition after putting in decades of 14-hour days tending, feeding and milking cows.
“The first couple days, I was lost,” she said. “All of a sudden, you don’t have the girls in here.” Continue reading