In the spring of last year, the dairy industry was shocked to hear of Grassland farmers losing their contracts. Today, that seems to be the new normal. Almost every week the number of farmers who have been left without a home for their milk grows. This time, 52 farmers in New York are being released by Marcus Dairy, a fluid milk processor in Danbury, Conn.
According to CBS New York, dozens of those producers will be out of business by the end of the month when their contracts expire on June 30.
“We’re scrambling to find another creamery to take us on and buy our milk wholesale,” Alice Diehl told CBS New York.
Unfortunately, a myriad of market factors will make that extremely tough including tariffs from our biggest trading partners and Walmart’s new bottling plant.
Tom Bose is a local supervisor working to help the Diehl family and the other six Sullivan farmers impacted by this decision, CBS reports.
“Probably the most difficult time I’ve seen in my lifetime,” he told them. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, horrible.”
Dairies directly contribute more than $7 million to the local economy, with another $5 million in indirect contributions to businesses that support jobs and agriculture, says Colleen Monaghan, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County. She says Cornell Extension is committed to helping these farmers brainstorm short and long-term solutions to keep their farms viable.
On their Facebook page, the Diehl family is encouraging their neighbors and friends to contact their local legislators. Many of the farmers who were dropped by Marcus are small farms and would like to see some kind of supply management system put in place in the U.S. They say the Margin Protection Program has done nothing but put more money into the National Treasury.