Last week while on our monthly grocery trip, we were shocked to see that milk was selling for $1.50 a gallon at ALDI in Big Rapids. $1.50.
Clearly, most shoppers’ reaction to these prices was to say “wow, $1.50!” and to then stock up.
For us, our hearts sank. Those farmers, their families, their cows. How in God’s name can they survive $1.50 a gallon?
This week, Dean Foods gave notice to 140 small family dairy farms in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio that after May 31 of this year, there will be no truck to pick up their milk. Walmart, the largest buyer of Dean’s milk in the region, has vertically integrated and will now be processing their own milk. But not from those farms. Those farms are too small for Walmart to waste their time with. And now, Dean has no avenue to sell those farms’ milk. After years of low prices, it is, likely, the final nail in the coffin for those farms.