Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Saving Family Farms with Yummy Butter

This article in the New York Times was particularly relevant for me because my mother grew up on a dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. My grandparents sold their cows when I was still quite young, but one of my aunts had her herd until several years ago, and one of my cousins married a farmer and still lives on a farm. Which is to say that the challenges dairy farmers face are quite personal to me, even apart from my desire to consume fantastic butter and yummy cheese.

On the one hand, I'm really happy about a lot of the trends in this article, but on the other hand, I'm worried that this will be too little, too late to save the sort of farming communities where my mother grew up. Specifically, while most of the affluent consumers who will happily pay a premium for local, handmade dairy products are concentrated on the coasts, most of the farming communities that are deeply hurting are in the midwest, far from the potential markets from their products.



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