New Homes Found For 22 Farmers Dropped By Dean Foods
Earlier this year Dean Foods announced it would sever contracts with dozens of producers across the country. For 22 of the 26 dropped producers in central Pennsylvania the stressful search for a new milk buyer is over.
Dean terminated contracts with producers in central Pennsylvania effective May 31, but fortunately, five cooperatives stepped in to take on the homeless milk.
According to Pennsylvania news website PennLIve.com, the dairies were picked up by Harrisburg Dairies, United Ag, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America Cooperative and Mount Joy Farmers Cooperative Association.
"This is probably the best possible outcome we could have had," said Alisha Risser of South Lebanon Township, whose family-owned farm was one of those to go with Harrisburg Dairies. "We're very happy with Harrisburg Dairies and working with them, and payment-wise, it's pretty close to what we were getting before from Dean.”
Four of the dropped producers decided to exit the dairy business but plan to keep farming.
"I think we fared very well in Pennsylvania," said Jayne Sebright, executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence. "In other states, it's not looking as good."
In an effort to boost demand for dairy products, the Pennsylvania Center For Dairy Excellence recently launched the “Choose PA Dairy” campaign with the goal of helping the general public understand the economic benefits of buying local milk.