Another bill, another thing that needs fixed, another cow with mastitis. And not a big enough milk check to cover all of those expenses. I keep praying for a break to this vicious cycle. I know we are not alone. The majority of dairy farmers across the country are suffering and going through the same thing. Some days I feel as if we're at our breaking point. Some days I think we did it to ourselves. My husband and I started a dairy...purchased 105 cows in VA, last April of '09. Yea...2009! What were we thinking? We left my family's 700 cow dairy to pursue our own. Don't get me wrong, we don't regret our decision; it's just frustrating to know this profession is supposed to be rewarding. And in many ways it is...but not fully like it should be.
Things didn't pan out down south so we relocated back to our home state (not home farm) of PA, cows in tow, and have added on another 125 cows to pay the rent. We both grew up on a dairy farm. We both know how rewarding it can be. As much fun as I had and as many things as I was able to experience and learn growing up on a commercial dairy, that alot of my non farm friends could not, I had a disadvantage of not fully understanding how that milk check affected everything. I mean I knew it did, but not to the full extent as I did when dad finally pulled me in from the fields and the barn to look at the books. SCARY! And now its even more scarier with not as many cows and cash flow.
I'm 24...still naive and pretty young to own a dairy business and still have a lot to learn. But I can't help but thinking "why do so many dairy farmers do this? Why do we constantly stay in this business and struggle? Why do we take the crap of low milk prices? It's out milk! We should be able to have a say in what we produce!" I just don't get it! David (my husband) came home for lunch today and exasperated with our influx of mastitis asked me, "remind me why we do this again? I passed a couple people loading up their boats to go fishing, to go enjoy life....Why do we pick this profession of endless work and constant worry if we're gonna pay the bills?" I agreed and shook my head but then replied, " We do this because this is our passion. It's what we know how to do and love" I just hope there is light at the end of the tunnel for everyone involved in this crisis and only hope that our voice can be heard by someone who actually cares, because our government is obviously busy lining their own pockets to give a damn about the ones that are actually the back bone of this country. I feel better now that's off my chest...maybe milkin won't be so bad tonight.....