In Greek mythology Sisyphus was forced to roll a boulder up a steep hill only to watch it roll down just as he got it to the top. That feels a lot like dairy farming does right now. We’ve been working hard, and yet it seems like we cannot get ahead. In fact, here’s actual footage of me and the boulder.
Almost a year ago I wrote a letter on the then current upheaval in dairy farming. At that time many farms had been dropped by their processor and had nowhere else to sell their milk. We, and many others, counted ourselves fortunate that we had a market for our milk and were able to continue.
In order for any business to succeed you have to turn a profit. While there are bright spots, milk prices are low, they have been low, and the future only shows a marginal improvement. Many farms are hanging on, cutting all the corners they can to reduce their cost of production, and getting by on their equity.
In the past, our farm has not only sold milk but also had different agricultural endeavors. The farm out of necessity changed over the years to be successful. Now we are changing again. We made the difficult decision to sell the milk cows and become a beef operation.
We will definitely miss milking the cows and being a part of the dairy industry, but change is a part of life, and we should embrace what new opportunities will come our way.
In the meantime, we will still be the biggest advocates for dairy we can be. In fact, we’ll be even more so, because we’ll actually have to buy more milk to keep Fred happy.