First Grassland shed 75 dairies in the Upper Midwest last year.

Then Dean Foods cut loose 100-plus dairies in the Northeast and Mid-South.

Now, Arla severed ties with 11 of its 35 patrons in northeast Wisconsin this May. While Arla gave its producers 60 days to find a new home for their milk, those farmers are still scrambling for a milk supplier amongst a steady river of flowing milk.

In response to lost milk markets, a group of dairy farmers formed the Appalachian Dairy Farmers Cooperative. The new entity brings together previously independent dairy farmers from Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and it starts operations on June 1. It will work with Piedmont Milk Sales LLC of Blountville, Tenn., to sell its members’ milk.

Many of its new members had been patrons of Dean Foods. That company officially cuts ties with those farmers on May 31, hence the June 1 start-up date.

What the farmers who shipped to Arla do remains to be seen.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
May 14, 2018
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