Allow me to draw your attention to these thoughts from Artisanal Cheese on the current plight of many dairy farmers. When the feed goes, the livestock goes and so goes the cheese.
Attention cheese lovers: America’s dairy farmers are suffering under grim conditions and need your help!
As a severe drought holds much of the nation in its grip, the specter of bankruptcy looms over the dried-up pastures of many a desperate dairy farm. The Fresno Bee reports of a situation so pervasively bleak that “at least one dairy cooperative is launching a crisis hot line for despondent dairymen and their families.” This news wouldn’t surprise Rich, a dairy farmer from Kentucky, who contributed his gloomy tale to an NPR interview yesterday. “Just five years ago, we were operating with about 500 heads,” Rich explained. “And now we’re down to feeding the calves from cows that we use to have to try to hang on…We are down to a hundred head. And it’s yearling cattle. And these are calves from the mothers that are gone.”
Many small dairy farmers describe the crisis as a nightmarish pile-up of harsh circumstances.