According to CBS New York, 52 farmers in New York are being released by Marcus Dairy, a fluid milk processor in Danbury, Conn. 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,” said Alice Diehl. Adam Diehl is generation number five to run the milking operation with his wife, Alice. Their daughter, Michaela, hopes to be generation six.
“It’s in their bloodstream, it’s part of their DNA to be farmers” said Alice Diehl. “It’s what they do, it’s what they love to do.”
Family matriarch Alice Diehl says the twice daily milking ritual is weeks away from a reckoning.
Farmer Tom Bose is the local supervisor who is working to help the six Sullivan farmers.
“Probably the most difficult time I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Bose. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, horrible.”
Global forces are hitting local farms, everything from increased production in China, to Walmart bottling its own milk in Indiana. Tastes are changing too. The average American drinks 37% less milk today than in 1970.
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.