Dairy farmers have been feeling the squeeze due to falling milk prices and reduced demand, so a farmer has created his own marketing campaign to try to turn those fortunes around.
Baleboards are popping up all over Susquehanna Valley farmland, and they’re the work of Nelson Troutman.
“I got to thinking over the weekend, I have the perfect sign right here — a wrapped hay bale. So I painted one, put it up here at the crossroad,” he said.
The ad campaign, which started in Troutman’s driveway, carries a simple but important message from dairy farmers.
“That whole milk isn’t full of fat like a lot of people perceive,” he said.
Troutman’s 120-acre farm in Lebanon County has been in the family for 70 years, but hard times are hitting dairy farmers as consumers have turned to cheaper alternatives. Milk prices have plummeted from $26 per 100 pounds to $16 per 100 pounds.
The bales also promote drinking Pennsylvania-produced milk.
“Look at the carton and see where it’s produced — the 42 code,” Troutman said.
The grassroots campaign has its own website, and word is spreading to neighboring states.
“There’s a lot of bales up in New York, some in Maryland, had a call from Kentucky,” Troutman said.
Troutman also dropped off some bales at ELCO High School to help ensure his and other farms are around for future generations.