hard times for a dairy
Even Dairy Farming has a 1 Percent
from the NY Times, by Adam Davidson.
Last month, after immersing myself in Brooklyn’s artisanal-food scene, I felt the need that many in my home borough have these days: to get out on a farm and smell the manure. So I drove an hour and a half southwest of New York City to spend the day with three generations of dairy farmers.
Bob Fulper, 85, was born on what is now Fulper Farms in West Amwell Township, N.J. So was his son, Robert, 54, who currently runs the place with the help of his brother, Fred, who is 51. Robert’s daughter, Breanna, 24, recently graduated from Cornell with a degree in dairy management. Breanna would like to lead the family business into the next generation, but she realizes it might not be financially possible. The modern dairy farm, it turns out, represents many of the volatile and confusing trends that have roiled the U.S. economy over the last decade.
This, despite the fact that dairy farming has become shockingly more productive. When Bob was a kid, during the Depression, he and his 10 siblings milked the family’s 15 cows by hand and produced 350 pounds’ worth of milk per day. By the time Robert was a teenager, in the 1970s, the farm had grown to 90 cows — all of which were milked automatically through vacuum technology — and sold around 4,000 pounds of milk per day. Now the Fulpers own 135 cows, which produce more than 8,000 pounds of milk.
Read the rest of the article here.