Minnesota Lost More Than 300 Dairy Farms in 2019
Sad news out of the Minnesota Dairy Farm world. Minnesota milk production industry continued to struggle in 2019 as the state lost more than 300 dairy farms in 2019 according to the department of agriculture. According to KARE11 "the number of overall dairy farms dropped from 2,763 in 2019 to 2,448 in 2020, representing an 11% decrease as the shuttering of farms outpaced the addition of new ones."
Lucas Sjostrom, the executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association said " One of the things we’re really missing right now is beginning farmers. Reaching that 11%, that’s farmers net lost. We’re losing that three, four, five percent of farmers that would be starting up and coming in.” Wisconsin suffered through a brutal year as well.
So what is the reason for the crisis? In 2014 milk prices were at an all time high, but soon supply out weighted demand and it was a free fall from there, along with corporate consolidation and a loss of exports to China because of the trade war. One of my co-workers here at the radio station her parents have a dairy farm here in Minnesota and I was there for just a few hours seeing what it was like. Honestly, I was exhausted from trying to hook up a machine to just one cow. Many people to not realize how hard farming is both emotionally and physically. So on that note, try to buy local food and milk whenever possible, and keep these farms going!