Dropped Dean Producers Ask For More Time
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently asked Dean Foods to give producers who will no longer be able to ship their milk to the company after May 31 more time to find a new home. According to news channel 21WFMJ, State Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding sent a letter to Dean Dairy Holdings LLC following the announcement that the company provided termination notices to 42 Pennsylvania dairy farmers, effective May 31, 2018.
“The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is deeply concerned about the well-being of the 42 Pennsylvania dairy farm families that recently received notices of termination from Dean Dairy Holdings LLC. It is because of this concern that I ask Dean Foods respectfully to extend the length of time provided to these farms to find other markets,” Redding wrote in the letter.
According to Redding, Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture is working with the producers, private industry and other areas of the public sector to “provide resources to these farms so they can develop a path forward that is in the best interest of their businesses and their families.”
He says the current deadline will force farmers to develop “fire-sale” style transition plans.
“The Department of Agriculture supports the commonwealth’s dairy farmers, and is committed to providing communities with the resources and connections they need to ensure that our dairy industry will thrive in the years to come,” said Sec. Redding. “Expecting farmers to make life-changing decisions in the span of 90 days is difficult enough without all of the complexities associated with a business. These producers need more time to do what is right for them, their families, and their businesses.”