As Dairy Farmers Struggle, U.S. Agriculture Secretary says Small Dairy Farms Will Likely All Close

MORELAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- For many dairy farmers across Pennsylvania, every day is a struggle to make ends meet.

Just this week, the top agriculture official in the U.S., Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said publicly that smaller dairy farms are probably all going to go out of business.

Bob Myers owns Buck Hill Farms in Moreland Township near Muncy. He was not surprised by Secretary Perdue's comment.

"Even the big guys can't hold on with the price of everything. It cost too much, everything is so high-priced," Myers said.

Myers spends upwards of 14 hours a day tending to his 20 cows and working on his farm. He said in the last 30 years, the cost of doing business has gone up ten-fold but the price of milk has not.

"Back years ago, you made as much as you made going to a factory to work as farming, now you work a whole day plus overtime and you near that," Myers said.

Buck Hill Farms has been in Myers' family for three generations, but Myers said it has never been so hard to turn a profit.

"I am not profitable. Every year I have a loss, I do. I keep hoping it will all come back," Myers said.

Myers said the last time he was profitable was in the 1980s. He said there are just too many government regulations over the cost of milk and that is cutting into his earnings.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin this week, "In America, the big get bigger and the small go out... I don't think in America, we for any small business, we have a guaranteed profitability."

Secretary Perdue did say he believes the 2018 farm bill should keep larger farms afloat. However, Perdue concedes smaller family-owned dairy farms will still struggle to compete.

13 comments

  • nowiseenitall

    I’m not looking for pity or a pat on the back here. I’ve been a dairy farmer for 30 years on a farm that’s been in the family 75 years. I’ve made a good living at it and worked hard doing it.
    It a pretty sad day when the U.S. secretary of agriculture admits that the 2018 farm bill is set up to keep big businesses afloat and basically kill off the family farm. Between the cost of production vs the return it’s no wonder you see so many abandoned farms and its going to get worse.
    I’m going to be really honest. I did really good with the gas lease and if it wasn’t for that I probably would of sold off my equipment and livestock a few years ago. I wish I knew a solution to the problem. The government needs to step up and help us out or there will be no more family farms.

  • Rob

    Sea level has not risen 1 inch. When ice melts the water level does not rise. Get glass of ice water and check it out yourself. If oceans were going to rise the people with the money wouldn’t be building condos all over Florida’s coasts which they are building everywhere.

  • Rob

    Why isn’t this propaganda site talking about ocasio cow fart Cortez and eating babies? I bet the counterfeit news network isn’t talking about it either.

  • not_pennysltucky (@ds18301)

    How’s all the “winning” working out for you rural America? The corporate soybean farmers got $20 billion from trump of YOUR tax-dollars to buy back their support after the tariff debacle and China went elsewhere. Looks like there’s no handouts left for the dairy farmers. Just wait today when the EU announces their retaliatory tariffs today in response to Trump’s latest inane move yesterday — watch for the layoffs…..And oh, yeah how about that li’l old out-of-control deficit to pay for all this madness….Trump despises you and all the poor. He won’t let real Americans within 50 yards of him unless it is at one of his pre-golf adoration rallies (that taxpayers also pay for). But people will keep voting against their own best interests cuz they think that one day they might get back their job that some immigrant took (what a laugh!!!) and then they’ll get their own golden toilet too…

    • Bob Stevens

      Please list all the great things the Dems have done the past 3yrs… I’ll wait… because I already know the answer is nothing but try to undermine and destroy the republic. They government has been trying to crush small farms due to lobbying from corporate farms. The tariffs don’t help but we need balanced trade, not getting screwed by other nations.

  • john williams

    Rain on the scarecrow
    Blood on the plow
    The government doesn’t want to deal with individuals, only large corporate lobbyist ag businesses.
    Bypass the store and govt. and buy from your local farm directly with cash

    • nowiseenitall

      John, in theory that’s a great idea but there are laws in Pennsylvania and most other states for selling raw milk to the public. There are a few local creameries around that are licensed to sell raw milk. You can help the local farmers by purchasing what we can sell openly to the public like fruits and vegetables and even fresh eggs.

  • whopperplopper

    and there it is in a nutshell.
    the fed govt is doing the dirty work for the corporate farms and has been for decades. the idea is to put the family farms under.

    “Secretary Perdue did say he believes the 2018 farm bill should keep larger farms afloat. However, Perdue concedes smaller family-owned dairy farms will still struggle to compete.”

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