Dairy farmer discouraged by ‘roller coaster’ milk prices


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Dean Foods, the nation’s biggest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy last week. The company says it will continue to do business, but local dairy farms are feeling more discouraged.

Several farms in York, Lancaster and Lebanon counties sell their dairy products to companies owned by Dean Foods, such as Swiss Premium.

Brian Smyser does not have a contract with Dean Foods, but the seventh-generation dairy farmer recently had to make an unfortunate decision. He says he hasn’t broken even over the past few years, so he will sell his cows next year.

“We can’t rely on the price of milk being a roller coaster where one year it’s up and the next three or four years it’s down,” Smyser said.

Smyser says he feels the dairy crisis is out of his control, with pricing essentially controlled by the federal government.

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