Dairy is in trouble. I’m sure you’ve heard. You’ve seen the headlines about Dean Foods and Borden Dairy filing for bankruptcy and about how generations-old dairy farms are struggling to keep their heads above water. But you’ve seen the impact in real life too. You’ve seen your neighbor’s barns sitting dark and empty. How did we get here? How did it get to this point? The easy-to-digest answer is that people aren’t drinking as much milk as they used to. Until the recent upswing in prices, farmers were getting paid less for their milk than what it cost to produce. They can’t make ends meet. That glosses over a lot of stuff.
We are going to dig deeper. To understand the situation, you need to go back in time to look at where we came from. You also need to zoom out to look outside of your county, your state — and even the U.S. We’re part of the world, for better or for worse. That’s where we’re going to start. Then we’re going to zoom back in and bring you to the present to look at how states and how individual farmers are trying to take control of their destiny. We’ll even talk about life after dairy.
There’s a reason you aren’t seeing this story told many places, in depth. It’s complex. There is no easy answer. No silver bullet. But we are Farm and Dairy, emphasis on dairy. We owe it to this industry to tell this story right, so we’re going to take the time needed to tell it. We want to give you the context you need to put the narratives you’ve been hearing elsewhere in perspective.