by Editor on November 21, 2010
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Steven Judge, the founder and owner of Bob-White Systems – the John Deere of the farmstead dairy industry located in South Royalton, Vermont and at www.bobwhitesystems.com.
The future of dairy farming in Vermont WILL NOT be 25 or 30 large farms in Addison, Franklin and Orleans counties trying to compete with farms in the Midwest and West milking 5,000 or 10,000 cows as some dairy industry insiders would lead you to believe. The commercial dairy industry is rapidly consolidating and commercial dairy farms are becoming ever and ever larger.
I recently spoke with a dairy farmer from the Snake River Valley in Idaho. He told me that within a five-mile radius of his farm there are 400,000 dairy cows and one of the neighboring dairy farms milks 70,000 cows in SEVEN 10,000 cow barns. That farm produces well over one billion pounds (116,000,000 gallons) of milk per year. The United States needs less than 150 farms that size to produce all the cheap milk to meet consumer demand.