The Extinction of Maine's Dairy Farms
Family-owned dairy farms are becoming a thing of the past as the younger generation leaves farming behind, consumers clamor for cheaper prices, and the fickle weather has been driving up the cost of feed. Is it any wonder some are closing the barn doors for good?
Libby Bleakney rises at 2 every morning to start milking a barn full of Jersey cows by 3 a.m. "It's got to be done," said the fifth-generation dairy farmer. "Twice a day, seven days a week. Holidays and snowstorms." Despite all this hard work, the dairy operation on the farm is losing money. And that's the norm rather than the exception for the state's dairy farms.