Dairy farms across America have been struggling recently to keep their barn doors open. Recent studies show that the number of dairy cows has decreased by 20 percent over the last five years. But why is that the case?
“Well there’s a number of contributing factors,” Dairy Farmer Ed McBroom told TV6. “We’ve got bad government policy in regards to dairy pricing, there’s a lot of pressure on foreign markets and what’s going on with the value of the dollar. Then there’s just the general cost of doing business has gone up, whether it’s for fuel or for equipment.”
Another reason being that there is decrease in demand in dairy products, but local farmers say that’s not necessarily the case in the U.P.
“As far as consumption goes for dairy products in the Upper Peninsula, it’s still solid. People are enjoying their cheese, their milk, their ice cream,” McBroom added. “I encourage people to continue to enjoy those products and buy local when you can.”
Buying local can be more difficult than you’d think with more U.P. stores going out of state for their products.
“A number of the big retailers, like Meijer and others, are bringing milk up from Indiana and are no longer utilizing milk that’s produced locally,” McBroom said. “Now it’s still a good quality product, but it is changing the dynamic significantly up here.”
McBroom says places like Jilberts, Debackers and Sargentos are all places that do use local dairy from the U.P.