Consolidation in Idaho_s Dairy
So, what is driving many of these producers to sell the family farm and take a different course in life.
Rick Naerebout, CEO of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, says most of the pressure felt by today’s producers are driven by stockholders of the companies purchasing their dairy products.
“[Stockholders are] dictating terms down the supply chain to where dairy producers don’t have a choice, but they have to meet these expectations. And what those stockholders, they want to feel good about the company they are investing in but what they don’t realize is their own actions are leading to a situation where you’ve got to have the ability to milk more and more cows to be able to have enough time in the day and to have enough employees to help fill all of these expectations.”
And those decisions Naerebout continued are diving the increase in consolidation. He says he’s not unlike many who grow up in the dairy industry.
“And you watch your parents work extremely hard, long hours, very few vacations and you look at the other kids you go to school with, their parents don’t have to work near as hard, they get paid vacation, they’re taking these trips all over the place during the summertime when you’re working in the fields and with the cows. And it becomes a fairly academic decision to say, ‘you know what, there are easier ways than this to make a living’.”
That’s Rick Naerebout, Idaho Dairymen’s Association CEO.