This guy’s story is pretty common. Dairy farming is very hard work, and family farms have to compete with corporate farms. The federal government used to help family farms with programs like Diverted Acres (originally called Soil Bank) and milk price supports. My cousins milk about 700 cows in Wisconsin, and they hardly know from one week to the next if they can pay their workers and buy hay. My cousin says, “I hope I can keep doing it. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done, and the only thing I know how to do.”
I think most family farms send their milk to cheese factories. It’s really expensive to maintain a Grade A certification or whole milk production. It’s much easier to certify at Grade B, which is fine for cheese making. By the way, if you go to Subway and get pepper jack cheese on your sandwich, it has my cousins’ milk in it.