Adapting to Dairy Consolidation
They say the only permanent thing in life is change. We’ve been firsthand witnesses to this fact within the dairy industry, especially in the last five years. In 2016, there were approximately 42 thousand dairy farms in the US. Since then, that number has plummeted by more than 10,000 to 31,000 today. An alarming 16 percent of those farms were gone in just two years.
The reduction in number of farms isn’t the only thing changing. The farms that remain are bigger, using the latest technology and making advanced herd management decisions using data from systems all around the farm. Around the world, 39 farms combined are milking 1.2 million cows. 0.1% of the farms that remain control a whopping 12.6% of the cows.
Beginning in the 90’s in the US, we could already see the trend in concentration of milk production shifting away from the Midwest and into the West. By 2007, Western states had surpassed the Midwest in the percentage of US milk production, and herds of over 1,000 cows accounted for half of the country’s milk supply.
Even after years of consolidation and enhanced milk production, independent dairy dealerships occupy much of dairy country. Small shops are well known and respected for being down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and top-notch in the service department. But, since change and consolidation have been the way of the industry, our only option is to match that pace of change. By combining forces of several strong and well-known dealerships, we’re able to maintain the qualities of smaller dealerships as we share resources, create proficiencies in highly specialized trades and services, and become the resource that today’s farms need. We have the skill sets to design intricate dairy operations and the manpower to support our projects from conception through to service for the lifetime of the dairy.
Just like the dairies who have made it to this new frontier of dairying – with robots, large rotary parlors, well-managed employees and thousands of cows – we’ve removed the words “we’ve always done it this way,” from our vocabulary. In the same way that the large, tech-savvy dairies are redefining the roles amongst their employees, we’re adding definition to ours. We’re tapping into generic trade specialties that dairy farms will always have a need for: electricians, programming, automation, computer literacy and refrigeration.
We’re ready for the future of dairy production – ready to serve as a partner for our customers, with our eyes on your goals. Our job is to help sustain dairy production through productivity, efficiency, food safety and animal welfare. Learn more about our view on the future of dairy farming.