Dairy farms struggle to keep up with rising costs of operations


MIFFLINBURG, UNION COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s becoming difficult for local dairy farms to keep up with the rising costs of farm operations while keeping prices competitive.

Eyewitness News caught up with local farmers to see how they keep their business afloat and keep your price of milk low.

Jennifer Mapes and her father, Mark Mapes, wake up every morning before the sun comes up to start milking cows.

“I am the third generation here on our dairy farm. My dad was born and raised here and he absolutely loves it,” Jennifer Mapes exclaimed.

Jennifer is the third generation on her 150-acre family farm. Her father says things used to be a lot different.

“We went from cow to cow and milked them, and milked them in a bucket milker. They called it and we had no pipeline or anything. And you had to carry the milk from milking cows and dump it in the tank.” Mark Mapes explained.

But, the Mapes say milking cows and running a dairy farm is getting harder by the day as the price of operations rise, but the price of milk drops.

“If you’re paying $5 a gallon at the grocery store, we should be getting $58 per 100 pounds but in all reality, we’re only getting 19. If it wasn’t for us trying to process and bottle our milk, we wouldn’t have the farm anymore.” Jennifer Mapes said.

She says things are getting bad for dairy farms here in Pennsylvania. She was told a few months ago that within a week span, 10 local dairy farms went out of business.

But, at the end of the day, the Mapes say working sunrise to sunset is for a bigger purpose.

“It’s important to us, because that’s the next generation. We’re teaching the next generation how to farm and how to love our earth, world, and communities. It’s just teaching them about how to feed our world,” Jennifer Mapes exclaimed.

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